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The Venetian Conspiracy 

Against Oligarchy By 
Webster Griffin Tarpley 

ddress delivered to the ICLC Conference near Wiesbaden, 
Germany, Easter Sunday, 1981; (appeared in Campaigner, 
September, 1981) 

Periods of history marked, like the one we are living through, by 
the convulsive instability of human institutions pose a special 
challenge for those who seek to base their actions on adequate 
and authentic knowledge of historical process. Such knowledge 
can come only through viewing history as the lawful interplay of 
contending conspiracies pitting Platonists against their 
epistemological and political adversaries. 

There is no better way to gain insight into such matters than through the study of the history of 
the Venetian oligarchy, the classic example of oligarchical despotism and evil outside of the Far 
East. 

Venice called itself the Serenissima Republica (Serene Republic), but it was no republic in any 
sense comprehensible to an American, as James Fenimore Cooper points out in the preface to his 
novel The Bravo. But its sinister institutions do provide an unmatched continuity of the most 
hideous oligarchical rule for fifteen centuries and more, from the years of the moribund Roman 
Empire in the West to the Napoleonic Wars, only yesterday in historical terms. Venice can best be 
thought of as a kind of conveyor belt, transporting the Babylonian contagions of decadent 
antiquity smack dab into the world of modern states. 

The more than one and one-half millennia of Venetian continuity is first of all that of the 
oligarchical families and the government that was their stooge, but it is even more the relentless 
application of a characteristic method of statecraft and political intelligence. Venice, never 
exceeding a few hundred thousand in population, rose to the status of Great Power in the 
thirteenth century, and kept that status until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, thanks to the most 
highly developed system of embassies, of domestic and foreign intelligence, and related 
operational potentials. 

As the following story details, Venice was at the center of the efforts to destroy the advanced 
European civilization of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and bears a crushing burden of guilt 
for the ascendancy of the Black Guelphs and the coming of the black plague. The Venetians were 
the intelligencers for the Mongol army of Ghengis Khan and his heirs, and had a hand in guiding 
them to the sack of Baghdad and the obliteration of its renaissance in the thirteenth century. 




The Venetians were the mortal enemies of the humanist Paleologue dynasty in Byzantium. They 
were the implacable foes of Gemisthos Plethon, Cosimo de' Medici, Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolo 
Machiavelli, and the entirety of the Florentine Golden Renaissance, which they conspired - 
successfully - to destroy. Venetian influence was decisive in cutting off the Elizabethan epoch in 
England, and in opening the door to the lugubrious Jacobean era. 

Venetian public relations specialists were responsible for picking up the small-time German 
provincial heretic Martin Luther and raising him to the big-time status of heresiarch among a 
whole herd of total- predestination divines. Not content with this wrecking operation against the 
Church, Venice was thereafter the "mother" for the unsavory, itinerant Ignatius of Loyola and his 
Jesuit order. After the Council of Trent, Venice was also the matrix for the Philosophe- Libertin 
ferment of the delphic, anti-Leibniz Enlightenment. Venice beat Thomas Malthus and Jeremy 
Bentham to the punch in inflicting British political economy and philosophical radicalism on the 
whole world. 

Although Napoleon Bonaparte had the merit of forcing the formal liquidation of this loathsome 
organism during his Italian campaign of 1797, his action did not have the effect we would have 
desired. The cancer, so to speak, had already had ample time for metastasis - into Geneva, 
Amsterdam, London, and elsewhere. Thus, though the sovereign political power of Venice had 
been extinguished, its characteristic method lived on, serving as the incubator of what the 
twentieth century knows as fascism, first in its role as a breeding ground for the protofascist 
productions of Wagner and Nietzsche, later in the sponsorship of fascist politicians like Gabriele 
D'Annunzio and Benito Mussolini. The Venetians ran a large chunk of the action associated with 
the Parvus Plan to dismember Russia, and may well have been the ones who surprised everyone, 
including London, by unleashing World War 1 in the Balkans. 

Most important, Venice is today through its Cini Foundation and its Societe Europeenne de 
Culture the think tank and staging area for the Club of Rome and related deployments. Venice is 
the supranational homeland of the New Dark Ages gang, the unifying symbol for the most 
extreme Utopian lunatic fringe in the international intelligence community today. 

Get to know Venice. Then look back to the monetarist imbecility of Paul Volker, at the 
ideological fanaticism that radiates forth from the Bank of America, Chase Manhattan, the Bank 
for International Settlements and the rest. You will recognize the unmistakable putrid stench of a 
Venetian canal, where the rotting marble palaces of generations of parasites are corroded by the 
greatest cynicism and cruelty the world has ever known. 
THE ORIGINS 

In the Middle Ages the Venetians were known as the archetypes of the parasite, the people who 
"neither sow nor reap." For the Greeks, they were the hated "frogs of the marshes." In Germany, 
a folk tale describes the merchant of Venice as an aged Pantaloon who makes his rounds robbing 
men of their human hearts and leaving a cold stone in their place. 

Closer to the essence of Venice is the city's symbol, the winged lion of St. Mark, bearing the 
misleading inscription, Pax Tibi Marce, Evangelista Meus ("Peace be with you Mark, my 



evangelist.") The chimerical winged lion comes out of the East, either from Persia or from China. 
The symbol is thus blatantly pagan, with St. Mark being added as an afterthought because of his 
alleged visit to the Venetian lagoons. To buttress the story, the Venetians stole St. Mark's body 
from Alexandria in Egypt, and Tintoretto has a painting celebrating this feat. 

The point is that Venice looks East, toward the Levant, Asia Minor, central Asia, and the Far 
East, toward its allies among the Asian and especially Chinese oligarchies which were its partners 
in trade and war. This is reflected in a whole range of weird, semi-oriental features of Venetian 
life, most notably the secluded, oriental status of women, with Doges like Mocenigo proudly 
exhibiting a personal harem well into modern times. 

Venice today sits close to the line from Lubeck to Trieste, the demarcation between NATO and 
Warsaw Pact Europe, roughly corresponding to the boundary between Turks in the East and 
Christians in the West, and still earlier between the Holy Roman and Byzantine Empires. Into this 
part of the northern Adriatic flow the rivers of the southern side of the Dolomites and the Julian 
Alps. The greatest of these is the Po. These rivers, around 300 A.D., made the northern Adriatic a 
continuous belt of marshes and lagoons about fifteen kilometers wide, and extending from the city 
of Ravenna around to the base of the Istrian Peninsula, where the Italian- Yugoslavian border lies 
today. 

In the center of this system was Aquileia, starting point of an important north-south trade route 
across the Brenner Pass to the Danube Valley and Bohemia. Aquileia was the seat of a patriarch 
of the Christian Church, but its tradition was overwhelmingly pagan, and typified by rituals of the 
Ancient Egyptian Isis cult. For a time after the year 404, Ravenna and not Rome was the capital 
of the Roman Empire in the West. After the extinction of the western empire, Ravenna was the 
seat of government of Theodoric the Ostrogoth, the court visited by Boethius. Later Ravenna was 
the capital of a part of Italy ruled by the Byzantines. 

The islands of the lagoons provided an invulnerable refuge, comparable to Switzerland during 
World War II, for Roman aristocrats and others fleeing the paths of Goth, Hun, and Langobard 
armies. Already between 300 and 400 A.D. there are traces of families whose names will later 
become infamous: Candiano, Faliero, Dandolo. Legend has it that the big influx of refugees came 
during the raids of Attila the Hun in 452 A.D. Various areas of the lagoons were colonized, 
including the present site of Torcello, before the seat of administration was fixed at a group of 
islands known as Rivus Altus ("the highest bank"), later the Rialto, the present location of the city 
of Venice. The official Ab Urbe Condita is March 25, 721 A.D. Paoluccio Anafesto, the first ruler 
of the lagoon communities, called the doge (the Venetian equivalent of Latin dux or Florentine 
duca/duce, meaning leader or duke), is said to have been elected in the year 697. 

The most significant fact of this entire period is that the whelp of what was later to become 
Venice survived and grew thanks to its close alliance with the evil Emperor Justinian in 
Constantinople, an alliance that was underlined in later years by intermarriage of doge and other 
leading Venetian oligarchs with the nobility of Byzantium, where a faction embodying the sinister 
traditions of the Roman Senate lived on for a thousand years after the fall of Rome in 476. 



Venetian families are divided into two categories. First come the oldest families, or Longhi, who 
can claim to prove their nobility substantially before the year 1000. The Longhi include many 
names that are sadly familiar to the student of European history: Dandolo, Michiel, Morosini, 
Contarini, Giustinian (perhaps related to the just- mentioned Byzantine emperor), Zeno, Corner 
(or Cornaro), Gradenigo, Tiepolo, and Falier. These old families held a monopoly of the dogeship 
until 1382, at which time they were forced to admit the parvenu newcomers, or Curti, to the 
highest honor of the state. After this time new families like Mocenigo, Foscari, Malipiero, 
Vendramin, Loredano, Gritti, Dona, and Trevisan came into the ascendancy. 

These families and the state they built grew rich through their parasitizing of trade, especially 
East-West trade, which came to flow ovemhelmingly through the Rialto markets. But there is a 
deeper reality, one which even derogatory stories about spice merchants are designed to mask. 
The primary basis for Venetian opulence was slavery. This slavery was practiced as a matter of 
course against Saracens, Mongols, Turks, and other non-Christians. In addition, it is conclusively 
documented that it was a matter of standard Venetian practice to sell Christians into slavery. This 
included Italians and Greeks, who were most highly valued as galley slaves. It included Germans 
and Russians, the latter being shipped in from Tana, the Venetian outpost at the mouth of the 
Don, in the farthest corner of the Sea of Azov. At a later time, black Africans were added to the 
list and rapidly became a fad among the nobility of the republic. 
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF SLAVERY 

During the years of the Venetian overseas empire, islands like Crete, Cyprus, Corfu, Naxos, and 
smaller holdings in the Aegean were routinely worked by slave labor, either directly under the 
Venetian regime, or under the private administration of a Venetian oligarchical clan like the 
Corner, who owed their riches to such slavery. In later centuries, the harems of the entire 
Ottoman Empire, from the Balkans to Morocco, were stocked by Venetian slaves. The shock 
troops of the Ottoman Turkish armies, the Janissaries, were also largely provided by Venetian 
merchants. A section of the Venetian waterfront is still called Riva Degli Schiavoni - slaves' 
dock. 

Around 1500, the Venetian oligarch Cristofor da Canal, the leading admiral of the Serenissima 
Repubblica at that time, composed what he described as a Platonic dialogue concerning the 
relative merits of galley slaves: the Italians the worst, Dalmatians better, the Greeks the best and 
toughest of all, although personally filthy and repulsive. In the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries Venice had treaty relations with other states, like Bavaria, by which convicts were 
delivered to the Serenissima to work as life-long galley slaves. 

Indistinguishable from slave gathering operation were piracy and buccaneering, the other staples 
of the Venetian economy. Wars with Genoa or with other powers were eagerly sought-after 
opportunities to loot the enemy's shipping with clouds of corsairs, and victory or defeat usually 
depended more on the success of the privateering than on the direct combat of the galleys, cogs, 
and soldiers of the battle fleets. 

Piracy shades over imperceptibly into routine commerce. Through decades of treachery and 
mayhem, the Venetians were able to establish themselves as the leading entrepot port of the 



Mediterranean world, where, as in London up to 1914, the vast bulk of the world's strategic 
commodities were brought for sale, warehousing, and transshipment. The most significant 
commodities were spices and silks from India and China, destined for markets in Central and 
Western Europe. Europe in turn produced textiles and metals, especially precious metals, for 
export to the East. 

Venetian production from the earliest period until the end was essentially nil, apart from salt and 
the glass manufactures of Murano. The role of the Venetian merchant is that of the profiteering 
middleman who rooks both buyer and seller, backing up his monopolization of the distribution 
and transportation systems with the war galleys of the battle fleet. 

The Venetian approach to trade was ironically dirigistic. Venice asserted a monopoly of all trade 
and shipping in the northern Adriatic. The Serenissima's own functionaries organized merchant 
galley fleets that were sent out one or two times a year to key ports. The galleys were built by the 
regime in its shipyards, known as the Arsenal, for many centuries the largest factory in the world. 
They were leased to oligarchs and consortia of oligarchs at a type of auction. Every detail of the 
operation of these galley fleets, including the obligation to travel in convoy, was stipulated by 
peremptory state regulation. 

In the heyday of Venice, galley fleets were sent to Tana and to Trebizond in the Black Sea, to 
Crete, Rhodes, and Cyprus on the way to Beirut in the Levant, to Tunis, Tripoli, Algiers, Oran, 
and Alexandria in North Africa, as well as to Spanish, French, and west coast Italian cities. 
Especially well-served was "Romania," the area roughly corresponding to modern Greece. 
Another galley route passed through Gibraltar on the way to Southampton, London, Antwerp, 
and Bruges. 

Many of these galley ports correspond to continuing Venetian influence today. In every instance 
the Venetians sought to skim the cream off the top of world trade. Their profit margins had to be 
sufficient to cover a "traditional" twenty percent interest rate, the financing of frequent wars, and 
maritime insurance premiums, in which they were pioneers. 
THE VENETIAN STATE 

The tremendous stability of the Venetian state has fascinated historians. How is it possible to 
maintain the great power of Venice for more than a millennium and a half without being 
conquered from the outside, and without significant upheavals from within? 

Venice remained impervious to foreign invasion from the first settlement until 1797. The 
monolithic iniquity of Venetian state institutions was seriously disturbed no more than a half 
dozen times from within the city, and such incidents were speedily terminated by bloodbaths that 
restored stability rather than spurring more violence. This feature of the Venetian oligarchical 
system contrasts sharply with that of its rival, Genoa, where each regime from 1300 to 1500 had 
the life expectancy of an Italian government today. It contrasts sharply with the papacy, where the 
highest office was up for grabs every dozen years or less, and where humanist factions could 
sometimes prevail. 



In Venice, the bloody resolution of internal faction fights within the oligarchy was suppressed to a 
minimum, and these energies were effectively sublimated in the depredation of the outside world. 
The raging heteronomy of each oligarch was directed outward, not at his factional rivals. In the 
typology of Plato's Republic, Venice is an oligarchy, "a constitution according to property, in 
which the rich govern and the poor man has no share in government," "the rule of the few, 
constitution full of many evils." This oligarchy has a residue of timocracy, of rule based on honor. 
But at the same time the Venetian regime was perversely aware of Plato's description of the swift 
transition from oligarchy to democracy and thence to tyranny, and against this evolution the 
patriciate took measures. 

Plato notes in Book VIII of The Republic that a "change in a constitution always begins from the 
governing class when there is a faction within; but so long as they are of one mind, even if they be 
a very small class, it is impossible to disturb them." The threat of factionalization is located in the 
"storehouse full of gold, which every man has," and which "destroys such a constitution." The 
oligarchs "lay a sum of money, greater or less, according as the oligarchy is more or less 
complete, and proclaim that no one may share in the government unless his property comes up to 
the assessment. This they carry out by force of arms, or they have used terror before this to 
establish such a constitution." 

Venice lasted as long as it did because of the effective subordination of the oligarchs and families 
to the needs of the oligarchy as a whole, by the ironclad delimitation of noble status to those 
already noble in 1297 and their male descendants, and by continuous terror against the masses and 
against the nobility itself. 

All male members of the approximately one hundred fifty noble families had the permanent right 
to a seat in the Gran Consiglio, or Great Council, which grew to 2000 members around 1500 and 
thereafter slowly declined. The seat in the Gran Consiglio and the vote it brought were thus 
independent of which faction happened to be calling the shots at a given moment. The ins might 
be in, but the outs were sure of their place in the Gran Consiglio, and this body elected the key 
governing bodies of the regime. 

The first of these were the one hundred twenty members, or Pregadi, of the Senate, the upper 
house which oversaw foreign affairs by choosing the Venetian ambassadors. In the middle of the 
fifteenth century, Venice was the first and only power which regularly maintained permanent 
legations in all principal courts and capitals. The Senate also chose five war ministers, five naval 
ministers (all called Savi), and six Savii Grandi, ministers of still higher rank. 

The Gran Consiglio elected a Council of Forty, which was first devoted to budget and finance 
matters, later more to criminal prosecution. The Gran Consiglio chose three state prosecutors, 
who could and did sue any official of the state for malfeasance, although the doge was accorded 
the privilege of being tried after his death, with his family paying any fines levied. The Gran 
Consiglio also elected the doge himself, through an incredible Byzantine procedure designed to 
assure a representative choice. First, thirty members of the Gran Consiglio were chosen at 
random, using colored balls whose Venetian name is the origin of the American word ballot. 
These thirty drew lots to cut their number down to nine, who then nominated and elected a new 



group of forty electors. These were then cut down by drawing lots to a group of twelve. This 
procedure was repeated several times, terminating with a group of forty-one electors of whom 
twenty-five could nominate a doge for the approval of the Gran Consiglio. Somewhat less 
complicated procedures were used to select a group of six advisors for the doge. 

Most typical of the Venetian system is the Council of Ten, established in 1310 as the coordinating 
body for foreign and domestic political intelligence operations. Meeting in secret session together 
with the doge and his six advisors, the Ten had the power to issue a bill of capital attainder 
against any person inside Venetian jurisdiction, or abroad. If in Venice, that person was generally 
strangled the same night and the body thrown into the Canale degli Orfani. 

The Ten had at their disposal a very extensive foreign intelligence network, but it was inside 
Venetian territory that their surveillance powers became pervasive: the contents of any discussion 
among oligarchs or citizens was routinely known to the Ten within twenty- four hours or less, 
thanks to the ubiquity of its informers and spies. Visitors to the Doge's Palace today can see mail 
slots around the outside of the building in the shape of lion's mouths marked Per Denontie 
Segrete ("For Secret Denunciations") for those who wished to call to the attention of the Ten and 
their monstrous bureaucracy individuals stealing from the state or otherwise violating the law. 
Death sentences from the Ten were without appeal, and their proceedings were never made 
public. Offenders simply disappeared from view. 

The Venetian regime is a perverse example of the "checks and balances" theory of statecraft, and 
there were indeed a myriad of such feedback mechanisms. The Savii Grandi balanced the powers 
of the doge, who was also checked by his six advisors, while more and more power passed to the 
state inquisitors and the chiefs of the Ten. The state attorneys acted as watchdogs on most 
matters, as did the Senate, and in times of crises the Gran Consiglio would also assert its powers. 
The Ten were constantly lurking in the background. 

Almost all officials except the doge were elected for terms averaging between six months and one 
year, with stringent provision against being reelected to an office until a number of months had 
passed equal to the oligarch's previous tenure in that post. This meant that leading oligarchs were 
constantly being rotated and shunted from one stop on the Cursus Honorum to another: to Savio 
Grande to ducal advisor to state inquisitor and so forth. There was no continuity of the population 
of Venice; the continuity was located only in the oligarchy. In fact, the population of the city 
seemed unable to reproduce itself. Venice suffered astronomical rates of mortality from malaria 
and the plague - its canals, it must be remembered, were first and foremost its sewer system. The 
decimated natives were continually replenished by waves of immigration, so much so that the 
Frenchman Philippe de Comynes, an adversary of Machiavelli, could report that the population 
was mostly foreigners. 

Internal order was entrusted to an intricate system of local control in each of the city's sixty 
parishes, meshing with an elaborate apparatus of corporatist guilds called the Scuole. This was 
supplemented by an unending parade of festivals, spectacles, and carnivals. Very few troops were 
usually stationed in the city. 



So much for the phenomena. Reality was located in the fact that an elite of ten to fifteen families 
out of the one hundred fifty effectively ruled with an iron hand. Various Venetian diarists let the 
cat out of the bag in their descriptions of corruption and vote-buying, especially the bribery of the 
impoverished decadent nobility, called Barnabotti, who were increasingly numerous in the Gran 
Consiglio. The regime ran everything, and offices of all types were routinely sold. 

This reality of graft was also known to Dante. The poetical geometry of Canto 21 of the Inferno, 
the canto of the grafters or Barattieri, is established by a reference to the Venetian Arsenal and the 
pitch used to caulk the hulls of the galleys: 

As in the Arsenal of the Venetians 
Boils in the winter the tenacious pitch 
To smear their leaky vessels over again, 
For sail they cannot. 

The souls of the grafters are immersed in the boiling pitch, where they are guarded by the 
Malebranche, grotesque winged monsters armed with spears and hooks: a fitting allegory for the 
souls of the Venetians. 

Dante visited Venice in 1321, acting in his capacity as diplomatic representative of the nearby city 
of Ravenna, whose overlord was for a time his protector. He died shortly after leaving Venice. 
The two explanations of his death converge on murder: one version state that he was denied a 
boat in which to travel south across the lagoon. He was forced to follow a path through the 
swamps, caught malaria, and died. Another version says that a boat was available, but that to 
board it would have meant certain assassination. Venetian records regarding this matter have 
conveniently disappeared. 
PETRARCH VERSUS ARISTOTLE 

The Venetian method of statecraft is based on Aristotle - the deepest Aristotelian tradition in the 
West. Long before the era of Albertus Magnus (1 193-1280) and St. Thomas Aquinas 
(1225-1274), Venice had established itself as the chief center for the translation and teaching of 
Aristotle's works. 

In the year 1 135, the Senate sent Giacomo da Venezia to Byzantium, where he was trained in 
post- Justinian Aristotelian orthodoxy, returning to Venice after two years to begin lectures on 
Aristotle and to prepare Latin versions of the Greek texts he had brought back with him. A school 
of Aristotelian doctrine was set up at the Rialto market, the heart of the business and commercial 
activity of the city. When Venice conquered Padua at the beginning of the fifteenth century, 
Aristotelian hegemony was imposed on the University of Padua, which became the only one 
where Venetian nobility were allowed international clientele, especially from Germany. 

The inveterate Aristotelianism of Venice is the starting point for a major literary attack on that 
city by Francesco Petrarch, son of Dante's personal secretary, who took up the responsibility of 
servicing Dante's humanist networks during the disastrous years around the middle of the 
fourteenth century. Although these were the years of the Black Death, Petrarch ("Fraunces Petrak 



the laureate poet" as Chaucer knew him) was the soul of a tenacious humanist rearguard action, 
with spirited counterattacks at every opportunity, that made the later Italian Renaissance possible. 

Petrarch was a contemporary of the Ciompi revolt against oligarchical rule in Florence; he was 
certainly involved in Cola di Rienzo's seizure of power in Rome in May, 1347. The real story of 
Petrarch's literary and political achievements has yet to be told. Nonetheless, the fact that he was 
a determined foe of Venice and its ideology is abundantly clear. 

In 1355 Venice had just passed through one of its infrequent internal crises, usually explained as 
the attempt of the Doge Marin Faliero to overthrow the regime and establish a Signoria, or 
personal dictatorship, of the type common in Italy at the time. Marin Faliero was publicly 
decapitated by the Council of Ten. 

Petrarch might have had a hand in this operation; during this period he was a frequent guest at the 
court of the Da Carrara rulers of Padua, about thirty kilometers from the Venetian lagoon. 
Petrarch may have developed plans for injecting a dose of Platonism into the intellectual life of the 
Serenissima. Petrarch proposed that he be allowed to take up residence in Venice and locate his 
library there; the books would remain as a bequest to the city after his death, forming the nucleus 
of what would have been the first public library in Europe. The Venice authorities accepted, and 
Petrarch, the most celebrated intellectual of his times, took up his residence on the Riva degli 
Schiavoni. 

Soon he began to receive the visits of four Venetian Aristotelians, whom he later referred to as 
"my four famous friends." These four oligarchs were Tommaso Talenti, Guido da Bagnolo, 
Leonardo Dandolo, and Zaccaria Contarini, the latter two of the most exalted lineage. After 
several discussions with Petrarch, these four began to circulate the slander that Petrarch was "a 
good man, but without any education." 

Petrarch shortly abandoned the library project and soon thereafter left Venice permanently. His 
answer to the slanderers is contained in his treatise "De Sui Ipsius et Multorum Ignorantia" 
(1367) (with a swipe at Aristotle in the title), his most powerful piece of invective- polemical 
writing. 

Petrarch scored Aristotelian scholastic philosophy as "a prostitute who delights to worry about 
vain questions of words." Real philosophy, with the clear purpose of advancing morality, he said, 
is to be found in St. Augustine. All that Aristotle is capable of doing is providing a delphic 
description of what the external attributes of morality might look like. To the authority of 
Aristotle, Petrarch counterposed the Platonism of the New Testament, saying that Christ, not 
Aristotle, was for him the decisive guide. His "four friends," he asserted, were not Christian, but 
preferred to follow their favorite philosopher in their sophistry, blasphemy, and impiety. They 
mocked Christ, and were so pretentious that they could not even understand their own arguments. 

Petrarch pointed out that Aristotle provided his followers with all sorts of strange and curious 
lore, like the number of hairs on a lion's head or of feathers in a hawk's tail, how elephants 
copulate backwards, how the phoenix arises out of his own ashes, how the only animal that can 



move its upper jaw is the crocodile. But these facts are not only useless, he said, they are false. 
"How could Aristotle know such facts, since neither reason nor experience reveal them? 
Concerning the ultimate objects of philosophy, Aristotle is more ignorant than an old peasant 
woman. 

Venetian nominalism went hand in hand with the most vicious avarice. In a play written in 
Venetian dialect by Carlo Goldoni in the eighteenth century, a Pantalone-type miser comes home 
to find wife and daughter busily engaged in needlework. The two women look up briefly and say 
hello. The miser flies into a rage screaming "What? You quit working to pay me compliments!" 

An eminent witness of this typical Venetian vice was Erasmus of Rotterdam, who was to the years 
after 1500 what Petrarch had been in his own time: Leader of the Platonic humanist faction. 
Erasmus came to Venice in 1508, on the eve, interestingly enough, of the attempt to annihilate 
Venice in the War of the League of Cambrai. Erasmus came to get in touch with Aldo Manunzio, 
the Aldus who owned what was at that time the largest and most famous publishing house in the 
world. 

Venice had reacted to the invention of moveable-type printing by Johannes Gutenberg of Mainz in 
a way that foreshadowed the reaction of the British oligarchy in this century to radio, the movies, 
and television. They had immediately attempted to seize control of the new medium. Dozens of 
Gutenberg's apprentices from the Rhein-Main area were bought up and brought to Venice, where 
the production of books up to 1500 and beyond was frequently a multiple of the number of titles 
published in the rest of the world combined. 

Aldus was the William Paley and Jack Warner of the industry. Martin Luther was one of that 
industry's later creations. Aldus brought out the works of Aristotle in Greek shortly after he 
began operations in 1495. Plato had to wait for almost twenty years. 

One of Erasmus' goals in visiting Venice was to accelerate the publication of Plato. He stayed at 
the home of Aldus' brother-in-law. Erasmus writes about his Venetian sojourn some time later, in 
the dialogue titled "Opulentia Sordida" of the Colloquia Familiaria. The Urbs Opulenta referred to 
is of course the wealthiest of all cities, Venice. Aldus appears as Antronius ("the caveman"), 
described as a multi- millionaire in today's terms. 

Erasmus had been away, and is asked by a friend how he got so skinny. Has he been working as a 
galley slave? Erasmus replies that he has undergone something far worse: ten months of starvation 
in the home of Antronius. Here people freeze in the winter because there is no wood to burn. 
Wine was a strategic commodity in Erasmus' opinion, as indeed it was in a time when water was 
often very unsafe to drink. To save money on wine, Antronius took water and faeces annorum 
decern miscebat (mixed it with ten year old shit), stirring it up so it would look like the real thing. 
His bread was made not with flour, but with clay, and was so hard it would break even a bear's 
teeth. A groaning board on the holidays for a houseful of people and servants was centered 
around three rotten eggs. There was never meat or fish, but the usual fare was sometimes 
supplemented by shellfish from a colony that Antronius cultivated in his latrine. When Erasmus 
consulted a physician, he was told that he was endangering his life by overeating. Erasmus' friend 



in the dialogue concludes that at this rate, all Germans, Englishmen, Danes, and Poles are about to 
die. Finally, Erasmus takes his leave, to head for the nearest French restaurant. 
VENETIAN INTELLIGENCE 

What was the Venetian political intelligence method? The classical Venetian predicament is that of 
the weaker power attempting to play off two or more major empires. This was the case when the 
Venetian power was in its very infancy, and survival depended upon playing off the Langobard 
Kingdom of Italy against the Byzantines. This ploy was later replaced by the attempt to play the 
Byzantines off against the Carolingian Empire in the West, an attempt that almost misfired when 
the army of Charlemagne under Pippin laid siege to Venice inside its lagoons. That siege, 
however, was not successful. 

In the eleventh century, the Venetians successfully incited the Norman barons operating out of 
Sicily under Robert Guiscard to attack Byzantium, and then moved in to offer the desperate 
Byzantines protection. The price for that protection was indicated by the famous Golden Bull of 
1082, a decree of the Byzantine Emperor by which Venice acquired tax customs-free access to 
the whole of the eastern empire, where the Greeks themselves had to pay a tax of 10 percent on 
their own transactions. Thus began a hatred for Venice among the Greek population which 
persists down to the present day. 

In the sixteenth century, Venetian strategic doctrine was to play the Ottoman Turks against the 
Spanish and Austrian Hapsburgs, and then to correct any residual strategic imbalance by playing 
the Hapsburgs off in their turn against the French. Sometimes Venice attempted to play the 
Portuguese rival power off against the Dutch. Later this was expanded to include playing the 
Dutch against the English, and the English against the French. 

The Venetians also goaded forces out of the East to attack Christendom. Venice was the 
manipulator of Saracens, Mongols, and Turks, and got along with the slave-trading factions in 
each of these groups about as well as a power like Venice could get along with anybody. In 
particular, the Venetians were more willing to see territory - excepting Venetian territory - be 
occupied by the Turks than any other power. Venice was thus the past master of the more exotic 
permutations of the stolid old British dividi et impera, "divide and conquer." 

But the essence of their strategic doctrine was something more abstruse, something sometimes 
described as the "collapse of empires" scenario. Venice parasitized the decline of much larger 
states, a decline that Venice itself strove to organize, sometimes in a long and gradual descending 
curve, but sometimes in a quick bonanza of looting. 

Venice was repeatedly confronted with the problem posed by a triumphant enemy, at the height of 
his power, who would be perfectly capable of crushing the Serenissima in short order. This enemy 
had to be manipulated into self-destruction, not in any old way, but in the precise and specific way 
that served the Venetian interest. Does this sound impossible? What is astounding is how often it 
has succeeded. In fact, it is succeeding in a very real sense in the world today. 

The most spectacular example of Venetian manipulation of the dumb giants of this world has gone 



down in history as the Fourth Crusade. At a tournament in the Champagne in 1201, the Duke of 
Champagne and numerous feudal barons collectively vowed to make a fighting pilgrimage to the 
sepulcher of Our Lord in Jerusalem. Here they were to reinforce a French garrison hard-pressed 
by the Turk Saladin. For many of them, this involved penance for certain misdeeds, not the least 
of which was a plot against their own sovereign liege, the king. 

Reaching the Holy Land required transportation, and the French knights sent Geoffrey of 
Villehardouin to Venice to negotiate a convoy of merchant galleys with an appropriate escort of 
warships. Geoffrey closed the deal with the Doge Enrico Dandolo, blind and over eighty years 
old. Dandolo drove a hard bargain: for the convoy with escort to Jerusalem and back, the French 
knights would have to fork over the sum of 85,000 silver marks, equal to 20,000 kilograms of 
silver, or about double the yearly income of the King of England or of France at that time. 

When 10,000 French knights and infantry gathered on the Lido of Venice in the summer of 1202, 
it was found that the French, after pawning everything down to the family silver, still owed the 
Venetians 35,000 marks. The cunning Dandolo proposed that this debt could easily be canceled if 
the crusaders would join the Venetians in subjugating Zara, a Christian city in Dalmatia, across 
the Adriatic from Venice. To this the knights readily agreed, and the feudal army forced the 
capitulation of Zara, which had been in revolt against Venice. 

At this point Dandolo made the crusaders a "geopolitical" proposal, pointing out that the emperor 
of Byzantium was suspected of being in alliance with the Saracens, and that an advance to the 
Holy Land would be foolhardy unless this problem were first dealt with. As it happened, the 
Venetians were supporting a pretender to the Byzantine throne, since the current emperor was 
seeking to deny them their trading privileges. The pretender was the young Alexios, who 
promised the knights that if they helped him gain power, he would join them on the crusade with 
an army of 10,000 Greek soldiers. 

Thus, from 1203 to 1204, Constantinople was besieged by the joint Franco-Venetian 
expeditionary force, which finally succeeded in breaking through the fortifications along the 
Golden Horn, the bay on the north side of the city. 

Byzantium was sacked in an orgy of violence and destruction, from which the Venetians brought 
back as booty the four bronze horses which generally stand on the Basilica of St. Mark, but which 
are often exhibited in other cities. Count Baudoin of Flanders was place on the throne of a new 
concoction titled the Latin Empire of Constantinople. The doge of Venice received a piece of the 
action in the form of the title Lord of Three Eighths of the Latin Empire. Venice took over 
three-eighths of Constantinople, a permanent Venetian colony with its own battle fleet. Lemnos 
and Gallipoli came into Venetian hands. Crete was annexed, and were Naxos and related islands, 
and the large island of Euboa, which the Venetians called Negroponte. On the Ionian side, the 
Venetians appropriated Modon and Koron and several islands up to and including Corfu. All 
Venetian trading privileges in Greece were restored. 

The loot brought back from the sack of Constantinople was greater than anything Europe would 
see until the Spanish treasure fleets from the New World several centuries later. Venice had 



acquired a colonial empire of naval bases, and was hegemonic in the eastern Mediterranean. To 
top it all off, the sultan of Egypt had paid a substantial bribe to Dandolo to keep the Crusaders 
out of Palestine in the first place. 

For the human race, the Fourth Crusade was an unmitigated tragedy. The hypertrophy of 
Venetian power in the Mediterranean was one of the decisive factors ensuring the later defeat of 
Emperor Federigo II of Hohenstaufen, King of Sicily. The Venetian puppet "Latin Empire" was 
overthrown by the Paleologues in 1261, but by that time Federigo was gone. By 1266-68, 
Federigo 's two sons and their Ghibelline supporters were defeated by Charles of Anjou, and the 
last representative of the Hohenstaufen dynasty was beheaded in the public square of Naples. The 
triumph of the Black Guelphs had become irreversible. 

A further contributing factor in this tragedy was doubtless the Mongol hordes. At about the time 
the Venetians were sacking Constantinople, Ghengis Khan ruled over an empire that extended 
from Korea all the way to Iran, and which was rapidly advancing to the West. Batu, a nephew of 
Ghengis, defeated the Bulgarians in 1236, captured Kiev in the Ukraine in 1240, and swept into 
Poland. In Silesia in 1241 the German and Polish feudal army, including the Teutonic Knights, 
was annihilated. Later in the same year the Mongols defeated the Hungarians. The Mongols did 
not, for reasons that are not clear, advance further westward, but the Mongol Golden Horde that 
imposed its hegemony over Russia was the beginning of Russia's economic and cultural 
backwardness. For some loosening of the Mongol yoke, the Russians would have to fight the 
titanic battle of Kulokovo Field on the Don in 1380. 

In these Mongol victories, there was something more than mere numerical superiority at work, as 
one historian sums up the case: 

The Mongols did not sweep in wildly and suddenly, like reckless barbarians. No indeed, they 
advanced according to careful plan. At every stage, the Mongol generals informed themselves 
ahead of time about the state of European courts, and learned what feuds and disorders would be 
advantageous to their conquests. This valuable knowledge they obtained from Venetian 
merchants, men like Marco Polo's father. It was thus not without reason that Polo himself was 
made welcome at the court of Kublai, and became for a time administrator of the Great Khan. 

So the great Marco Polo, and the Venetian family from which he came, was responsible for 
directing the destruction of Ghengis Khan against Europe. The omnipresent Venetian intelligence 
was also a factor in the Mongol destruction of the Arab cultural center of Baghdad in 1258. 

Friedrich Schiller and William Shakespeare both analyze the manipulative methods employed by 
the Venetian secret intelligence establishment; both considered Venetian intelligence one of their 
most formidable enemies. Much of Schiller's writing is dedicated in various ways to fighting the 
Venice- Genoa- Geneva combination that had held the financial reins of King Philip II of Spain. 

Schiller's direct treatment of Venice is a fragment of a novel titled Der Geisterseher ("The Ghost 
Seer"). Its central character is a Sicilian charlatan, expert at bringing the spirits of the departed 
back into the world for the thrill-seeking nobility at seances. This Sicilian charlatan is a figure for 



a whole class of Venetian intelligence operatives, like Count Cagliostro, the mountebank who 
claimed to be the reincarnation of the leading Mason of ancient Egypt. Another of this breed was 
Emanuel Swedenborg. After Schiller's time, this category swelled considerably with theosophists 
like Madame Blavatsky, Annie Besant, Henry Steel Olcott, and with that archapparitionist 
Rudolph Steiner, founder of the Anthroposophy movement and the Waldorf schools. 

In Schiller's tale, a young German prince in Venice for the grand tour is subjected to a series of 
manipulations by a sinister, masked Armenian, who informs him, before the fact, of the death of a 
close relative hundreds of miles away. At a gambling den, a young Venetian patrician picks a 
quarrel with the prince, who fears for his life until he is ushered into one of the chambers of the 
Council of Ten, where the offending patrician is strangled before his eyes. He comes into contact 
with the Sicilian mountebank, and then spends weeks attempting to ascertain the identity of a 
mysterious beauty he has seen at church. 

He begins to frequent a semi-secret free-thinking club, called the Bucentoro after the golden ship 
used by the doge on occasions of state. At least one cardinal is also a member of the Bucentoro. 
He takes to gambling, loses heavily, and contracts immense debts. In the meantime, rumors are 
spread at his Protestant court that he has become a Catholic, which leads to his repudiation by his 
entire family. At the end of the fragment, his life has been ruined, and his death is imminent. 

Shakespeare's "Othello, The Moor of Venice" is a more finished analysis of the same technique. It 
was written and performed shortly after 1603, when the Venetians and Genoese had acquired vast 
powers in England through the accession of their puppet James I to the throne. 

Othello is a Moor, hired out to Venice as a mercenary, and at the apex of his power, having just 
won a victory over the Turkish fleet attacking Cyprus. He enjoys the full confidence of the 
Senate, and has just married Desdemona, the daughter of a patrician. Othello, the "erring 
barbarian," is however something of a dumb giant: his proficiency in the arts of war is unmatched, 
but his emotional makeup tends decidedly toward the naive and infantile. He has no real insight 
into affairs of state, or into psychology. Above all, he is superstitious and has a propensity for 
jealousy. 

All of these weaknesses are systematically exploited by "honest Iago," a member of Othello's staff 
who is determined to destroy him. Iago is the figure of the Venetian intelligence officer, an expert 
in what he calls "double knavery" - the art of manipulation. He sets out to destroy Othello using 
an accurate psychological profile of the Moor, and exploiting above all Othello's naive willingness 
to trust his "honest Iago." Iago's modus operandi is to: 

Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me, 
For making him egregiously an ass 
And practicing upon his peace and quit 
Even to madness. 

Iago uses his throwaway agent, the dupe Roderigo, for financing and services. He sets up scenes 
where he cons one participant with one story, briefs another participant with a different story, 



brings them together in a controlled environment, and exploits the resulting fireworks for his 
overall strategy. He sets up a fight between Roderigo and the drunken Cassio that leads to the 
wounding of Montano by Cassio, who is ousted as chief lieutenant by Othello. After this, he 
manipulates Desdemona's naive desire to help Cassio regain his post into prima facie evidence 
that Desdemona is an adulteress. Iago is then able to goad Othello all the way to killing 
Desdemona and, finally, himself. 

At the center of the play are epistemological questions of truth and proof. In Act 3, Iago drives 
Othello wild with innuendoes about Desdemona's alleged adultery, and makes him commit to the 
murder of Cassio, all without the slightest shred of proof. What Othello then regards as definitive 
proof of adultery, sufficient to motivate the murder of Desdemona, is a handkerchief which Iago 
obtains and plants on Cassio. This handkerchief is an object of deep emotional and superstitious 
importance for Othello, as it had been given by his father to his mother. It had been his first love 
token for Desdemona. When he sees it in the hands of Cassio, he is ready to kill. 

Iago is well aware of Othello's epistemological weakness. When he first obtains the handkerchief, 
he gloats: 

I will in Cassio 's lodging lose this napkin, 

And let him find it. Trifles light as air 

Are to the jealous confirmations strong 

As proofs of holy writ; this may do something. 

Shortly thereafter, Othello demands certainty that Desdemona is betraying him. What would be 
definitive proof, Iago asks? 

Would you, the supervisor, grossly gape upon - 
Behold her tupp'd? 

This kind of certainty, he says, is impossible to obtain, but he offers an inductive- deductive 
substitute: 

But yet, I say, 

If imputation and strong circumstances, 
Which lead directly to the door of truth, 
Will give you satisfaction, you might have't. 

In the final scene, we can agree with Iago's wife Emilia that Othello is a gull and a dolt, a 
"murderous coxcomb ... as ignorant as dirt." But the lesson is that not only Othello, but all those 
who love not wisely but too well, who, "being wrought" and "perplexed in the extreme," are 
potential victims of Venetian intelligence. 
DESTRUCTION OF THE RENAISSANCE 

Since the Venetian oligarchy relied for its survival on the secret weapon of political intelligence 
manipulation, its primary strategic targets were first and foremost dictated by epistemological 



rather than military criteria. Fleets and armies, even in the hands of a powerful and aggressive 
enemy state, could well redound to Venetian advantage. The real danger was a hostile power that 
developed epistemological defenses against manipulation and deceit. In the face of such a threat 
Venice did - and does - kill. 

The Italian Renaissance of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, perhaps the greatest outpouring of 
human creativity in history, represented such a threat to the Serene Republic, and in a more 
concentrated form than it had ever faced before. The threat arose from the epistemological 
warfare and alliance system of the great Cosimo de' Medici of Florence and his successors. 
Venice mobilized every resource at its disposal to destroy the Renaissance. After decades of 
sabotage, going so far as to arrange the ravaging of Italy by foreign armies, Venice succeeded. 

The potential political and epistemological power of the Italian Renaissance are best identified in 
the ecumenical council of the Church convened in Florence in the year 1438. The council, first 
convened in Ferrara, was moved to Florence at the urging of Cosimo de' Medici, who held power 
from 1434 to 1464. Cosimo was the major financial and political sponsor of the proceedings. 

Cosimo was a self-declared enemy of Venice. On one occasion he wrote, "Association with the 
Venetians brings two things which have always been rejected by men of wisdom: certain perdition 
and disgrace." 

The council had to deal with the ongoing crisis in the western church, which had been exacerbated 
by the struggle between the Council of Basel and Pope Eugene IV, who had been driven out of 
Rome by a revolt. In the East, the Ottoman Turks were beginning to recover from the crushing 
defeat that the Turkish Emperor Bajazet had suffered in 1402 at the battle of Ankara at the hand 
of Tamerlane the Great. The first, unsuccessful, Turkish siege of Constantinople had already been 
mounted in 1422. 

The hope held out by the Council of Florence was to implement Nicolas of Cusa's program of the 
Concordantia Catholica - a community of principle among humanist sovereign states for cultural 
and economic development, against Venetians, Turks, and all enemies of natural law. To Florence 
came the Emperor of Byzantium, John VIII Paleologue, accompanied by his advisor Gemisthos 
Plethon and Plethon's student, Archbishop Bessarion of Nicea. The Latin delegation was titularly 
headed by Pope Eugene IV, heavily dependent upon the support of Cosimo de' Medici at that 
time. This delegation was dominated in outlook by men like Nicolas of Cusa, Leon Battista 
Alberti, Leonardo Bruni, Cardinal Capranica, and Aeneas Piccolomini of Siena, later Pope Pius II. 
The Greek and Latin delegations were each profoundly vitiated by powerful Aristotelian factions, 
but this was still one of the most impressive assemblies in history. 

The culmination of the council was an impassioned oration by Plethon on the antithesis between 
Plato and Aristotle, a speech which went far beyond anything ever heard in the West. Marsilio 
Ficino, himself a participant at the council, tells the story of how Cosimo de' Medici, while 
listening to Plethon, made up his mind to create the Platonic Academy in Florence. 

The most immediate question to be addressed was the reunification of the Roman and Greek 



churches, abrogating the mutual excommunications issued by the pope and the patriarch of 
Constantinople in 1054. The contending theologians debated the question of the "filioque" in the 
Latin credo, attempting to resolve the question of whether the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the 
Father, as the Greeks argued, or from the Son as well, according to the Roman view. The Greeks 
eventually agreed to recognize the correctness of the Latin position, although they declined to 
modify their own credo accordingly. The Paleologue emperor intervened repeatedly in these 
discussions, stressing that there were no real differences in doctrine, and that anyone who let 
nonexistent divergences stand in the way of common action against the Turks was a worse traitor 
than Judas. In the end a purely formal reunification of the two churches was attained, but it 
remained a dead letter. 

Even so, Cosimo and his cothinkers came close several times to welding an alliance capable of 
dominating the world, and the first to pay the price of their success would have been the 
Venetians. Medici Florence was at the center of a network of trade and finance that was beginning 
to rival Venice, with the crucial difference that the Florentines were the producers, thanks to 
Cosimo's dirigism, of the textile products they offered for sale. The Duchy of Milan would shortly 
come under the domination of the condottiero (mercenary commander) Francesco Sforza, 
installed in power with the help of the Medici, and an enemy of Venice. In 1461 the humanist 
Louis XI would take the throne of France. This new king was determined to apply the concepts of 
statecraft developed in Italy, and considered the Venetians "insolent merchants." In 1460, the 
humanist Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini would be elected Pope Pius II; in the meantime he was in a 
position to influence Frederick III of Hapsburg, the Holy Roman Emperor. 

The Venetian reaction to this potential for the implementation of an ecumenical Grand Design on 
the platform of the Italian Renaissance humanists was, predictably, to bring on the Turks once 
again. During all these years the Turks possessed a combined warehouse- residence- safehouse in 
Venice, the Fondaco dei Turchi, which facilitated dealings between the doge and the sultan. 
Spurred on by Venetian financing and Venetian- procured artillery, the Sultan Mohammed the 
Conqueror laid siege to Constantinople and captured it in 1453. The Turks were aided by the 
Greek patriarch, who had pronounced the defense of the Paleologue dynasty a heretical cause. 
Finally, it was the Genoese troops who opened the gates of the city to the forces of the sultan. 
Hardly a coincidence was the burning of the library of Constantinople with its matchless collection 
of Ionian and Platonic codices, most unavailable anywhere else since the library of Alexandria had 
been destroyed some fifteen centuries earlier. In their own sack of Constantinople in 1204, the 
Venetians had declined to appropriate these manuscripts. 

The destruction of Byzantium by the Turks gave the Venetians a slogan with which to organize 
their war against the Renaissance. Since the Roman Empire had finally ended, it was left to the 
Venetians to arrogate to themselves the task of building a new Roman Empire. The foundation of 
a new Roman Empire became, in Venice, from the middle of the fifteenth century on, the leading 
obsession of the oligarchs. 

"The Venetians are called new Romans," confided the patrician Bernardo Bembo to his diary. 
Francesco Sforza of Milan wrote that the Venetians were: 



"obstinate and hardened, always keeping their mouths open to be able to bite off power and usurp 
the state of all their neighbors to fulfill the appetite of their souls to conquer Italy and then 
beyond, as did the Romans, thinking to compare themselves to the Romans when their power was 
at its apex." 

Machiavelli wrote that the Venetians had "fixed in their souls the intention of creating a monarchy 
on the Roman model." This is corroborated by a dispatch of the ambassador of Louis XII of 
France at the court of the Emperor Maximilian I some years later, which described the Venetians 
as: 

"traders in human blood, traitors to the Christian faith who have tacitly divided up the world with 
the Turks, and who are already planning to throw bridgeheads across the Danube, the Rhine, the 
Seine, and Tagus, and the Ebro, attempting to reduce Europe to a province and to keep it 
subjugated to their armies." 

These megalomaniac plans of the Venetians were no secret. In 1423, the Doge Tommaso 
Mocenigo had urged upon his fellow oligarchs a policy of expansionism which would make them 
the overlords "of all the gold and of Christendom." 

The most penetrating indictments of the Venetians during this period were issued by Pope Pius II 
Piccolomino, who tried in vain to force Venice into joining a crusade against the Turks. A 
Venetian saying of this period was Prima son Vinizian, poi son Cristian. (I am a Venetian first, 
then a Christian.") In his Commentaries, Pius II excoriates the Venetians for their duplicitous 
treachery, and establishes the fact that they are a pagan, totalitarian state. The Venetians, he says, 
have acted in their diplomacy: 

"with the good faith characteristics of barbarians, or after the manner of traders whose nature it is 
to weigh everything by utility, paying no attention to honor. But what do fish care about law? As 
among the brute beasts aquatic creatures have the least intelligence, so among human beings the 
Venetians are the least just and the least capable of humanity, and naturally so, for they live on the 
sea and pass their lives in the water; they use ships instead of horses; they are not so much 
companions of men as of fish and comrades of marine monsters. They please only themselves, and 
while they talk they listen to and admire themselves. . . . They are hypocrites. They wish to appear 
as Christians before the world, but in reality they never think of God and, except for the state, 
which they regard as a deity, they hold nothing sacred, nothing holy. To a Venetian, that is just 
which is for the good of the state; that is pious which increases the empire. . . . What the senate 
approves is holy even though it is opposed to the gospel. . . . They are allowed to do anything that 
will bring them to supreme power. All law and right may be violated for the sake of power." 

During many of these years Venetians were in a tacit alliance with the Turks. When, for example, 
a revolt against Venetian rule in Albania was started, threatening the Venetian naval base at 
Durazzo, the Venetians made a deal with the Turks to crush the revolt. On one occasion Pius II 
received the Venetian ambassador to the Roman court and condemned Venetian policy with these 
words: 



"Your cause is one with thieves and robbers. . . . No power was ever greater than the Roman 
empire and yet God overthrew it because it was impious, and He put in its place the priesthood 
because it respected divine law. . . . You think [your] republic will last forever. It will not last long. 
Your population so wickedly gathered together will soon be scattered abroad. The offscourings of 
fishermen will be exterminated. A mad state cannot long stand." 

In 1464 Pius II, despite a serious illness, traveled from Rome to Ancona to personally lead a 
crusade against the Turks. He wished to force the hand of the Venetians, who had promised him a 
battle fleet. He died shortly after the Venetian warships arrived, and Venice thereupon pulled out 
of any serious fighting against the Turks. But his attack on "the mad state" was on target, then 
and now. 

During the first half of the fifteenth century, much Venetian energy was devoted to a rapid 
expansion up the Po Valley toward Milan. They seized Padua, Vicenza, Verona, Brescia, and 
Bergamo, reaching the Adda River, just a few miles from Milan. With Milan under Venetian 
control, the "new Romans" could bid fair to dominate northern Italy and then the entire peninsula. 

Cosimo de' Medici, as we have seen, secured a Florence-Milan alliance by supporting the claims 
of Francesco Sforza, fighting a was against Venice to do it. Basing himself on this Florence-Milan 
axis, Cosimo then proceeded to create an uneasy peace in Italy that was to last forty years. This 
was the Italian League, formed at the Peace of Lodi in 1453, which united the leading powers of 
Italy, the pope, Naples, Milan, Florence, and Venice, ostensibly in an alliance against the Turks, 
who had for a time held a toe-hold in Apulia. In reality, the Italian League was a Florence- Milan- 
Naples combination designed to check Venetian expansionism. In this it proved effective, giving 
the Renaissance almost half a century of time to develop under the longa pax of the Medici. 

During these years, stymied in Italy, the Venetians concentrated on overseas expansion, including 
the conquest of Cyprus. But on the death of Cosimo 's successor, Lorenzo the Magnificent, they 
began their systematic campaign to destroy the civilization of the high renaissance. Their basic 
premise was that, given their own inability to devastate the centers of Renaissance culture and 
economic development, they must concentrate on duping the overwhelming military forces of 
European states like France, Spain, and the other Hapsburg dominions into accomplishing this 
task for them. 

The most competent contemporary observer of these matters was Niccolo Machiavelli, active 
somewhat later in the post-Medici Florentine diplomatic service, and a factional ally of Cesare 
Borgia, Duke of Valentino. Machiavelli noted that the two most dangerous forces in Italy around 
the turn of the century were the Venetians and the pope. His own hatred was directed especially 
against Venice, firstly because of the stated Venetian intention to subjugate Italy in a new Roman 
Empire. Secondly, Venice more than any other state relied on armies of mercenaries, and thus 
embodied precisely that practice which Machiavelli knew had to be extirpated, in favor of 
citizen-soldiers, if Italy was to be saved from humiliating subjugation to the likes of the 
Hapsburgs. 

Machiavelli pointed out that the disintegration of Italy began when the Venetians succeeded in 



turning Lodovico il Moro, successor of Francesco as Duke of Milan, making him their agent of 
influence. Lodovico was responsible for the first major invasion of Italy in many years when he 
agreed to support the claims of Charles VIII of France to the Kingdom of Naples. This was the 
French king whom his father, the great Louis XI, considered a hopeless imbecile. In 1494 the 
French army crossed the Alps, accompanied by a Genoese advisor we will meet again later: 
Giuliano della Rovere. 

This was enough to bring about the fall of the Medici regime in Florence, to the advantage of the 
Pazzi, Albizi, and related oligarchs of that city. These oligarchs immediately sought to crush the 
Florentine Renaissance using the regime of the demented Dominican monk Girolamo Savonarola, 
who set up a theocracy a la Khomeini. Savonarola proudly trumpeted that his rule was based on 
sound Venetian principles; his family was closely related to the Padua Aristotelian community. As 
for Charles VIII, he went on to establish a tenuous hold on Naples. 

Several years later, in 1498, the Venetians repeated this maneuver, with the variation that this 
time it was they who blatantly invited the French to cross the Alps. This time the pretext was the 
French claim to the Milanese dukedom, and the dupe was a new French king, Louis XII. The 
French army knocked out Milan in 1500, a fatal blow to the Renaissance cultural ferment 
associated there with Leonardo da Vinci. Shortly thereafter, Louis XII decided to compensate the 
Hapsburgs with Naples. Naples accordingly became the first beachhead of what would shortly 
become a totally destructive Hapsburg hegemony in Italy. 
VENICE AND GENOA COMBINE 

For Venice, so far so good: Florence, Naples, and Milan had been ruined. But ironically, the same 
dumb Valois and Hapsburg giants which had taken out three dangerous rivals were now to turn 
like Frankenstein's monsters on the wily new Romans. Venetian manipulations were about to 
boomerang in the form of an alliance of all of Europe against Venice. 

This was the famous crisis of the War of the League of Cambrai, which was assembled in 
1508-1509. The opposing coalition was made up of the pope (by then the Genoese Giuliano della 
Rovere, as Julius II), the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, France, Spain, Savoy, Mantua, and 
Ferrara. The announced purpose of this alliance was to expunge Venice from the face of the earth. 

It nearly worked. At Agnadello, near the Adda River, the Venetian mercenary army was crushed 
by an army composed predominantly of Frenchmen. The Venetians were driven all the way down 
the Po Valley to Padua, and they soon lost that as well. Machiavelli exulted that on the day of 
Agnadello, the Venetians lost everything that they had conquered in more than 800 years. 
Machiavelli was himself engaged in operations against Venice, bringing a grant of Florentine cash 
to the aid of the Franco-Imperial forces holding Verona. 

With nothing left but the lagoons, the Venetian position was desperate. The doge sent a message 
to the pope asking for mercy, and announcing that Venice would vacate territory taken in the past 
from the Papal States. 

Inside Venice, Agnadello brought on an orgy of hysterical self-flagellation among the terrified 



patricians. The banker Girolamo Priuli wrote in his diary that Agnadello had been a punishment 
for the sins of the Venetian nobility, among which he numbered arrogance, violation of promises, 
lechery in nunneries, sodomy, effeminate dress, and luxurious and lascivious entertainments. 
Antonio Contarini, newly appointed patriarch of Venice, gave a speech to the Senate in which he 
characterized the Serenissima as a thoroughly amoral city. The defeat was a punishment for the 
city's sins, he said. Nunneries were catering to the sexual needs of the rich and powerful. 
Homosexuality was so widespread that female prostitutes had complained to him that they had 
earned so little during their youth that they had to keep working far into their old age. 

But more significantly, the shock of Agnadello set into motion a strategic review in the Venetian 
intelligence community which led to very far-reaching conclusions, some of which were not 
obvious before several decades had gone by. 

The first Venetian ploy was to attempt to dismember the Cambrai coalition. They started with 
Pope Julius II. This pontiff was, as already noted, Genoese. Genoa and Venice had engaged in a 
series of highly destructive wars up till about the end of the fourteenth century, but after that, 
Genoa gravitated toward the status of junior partner and close associate of the Venetians. The 
Venetians had bested the Genoese by virtue of superior connections in the East, but otherwise 
their was a broad area of agreement. 

The symbol of Genoa was St. George the dragon-slayer, in reality no saint at all but a thinly 
disguised version of Perseus saving Andromeda by slaying the sea monster, a legend that is 
centered on the coast of Lebanon. The "George" is said to come from the Gorgon Medusa, whose 
head Perseus was carrying. 

Perseus is in turn nothing but a westernized variant of Marduk, the Syrian Apollo, a deity 
associated with the most evil forces of ancient Assyria and Babylon. The Venetians had their own 
Marduk cult, although subordinated to St. Mark, on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, home of 
a Dominican monastery and today of the Cini Foundation, one of the highest level think tanks in 
the world. The modern British preference of Gorgons is too well known to need comment. 

What probably accounted more directly for Julius IPs decision to reverse his alliances was a deal 
mediated with the Venetians by Agostino Chigi, the Siena Black Guelph banker from whose 
financial empire the infamous Siena Group of today derives. He proposed that the Venetians stop 
buying alum, needed in textile and glass manufacture, from the Turks, but contract for a large 
shipment at higher prices from the alum mines at Tolfa in the Papal States - mines for which he, 
Chigi, was acting as agent. To sweeten the pot, Chigi offered the Venetians tens of thousands of 
ducats in much-needed loans. 

The Venetians, fearing a rapid French offensive, accepted. Their own state finances were in total 
shambles. Only the Chigi loan allowed them to hire enough Swiss mercenaries to hold out against 
the French and the Imperial Landsknechte. 

To provide a plausible cover for his move, Julius II suddenly discovered that the real issue was 
not Venice after all, but the need to expel the barbarians (primarily the French) from Italy. Julius 



stipulated an alliance with Venice. He then set up the slogan of Fuori Barbari! (Kick the 
Barbarians out!) which is still recorded by credulous writers of Italian school books as the 
beginning of the struggle to unify Italy. Even the Venetian mercenaries, mostly Swiss, began using 
the battle cry of "Italy and Freedom!" 

Thus the post-Agnadello crisis was overcome. Some years later the Venetians tried the same 
tactic in reverse, this time with more lasting success. By 1525 the prevalent barbarians in Italy 
were the forces of Emperor Charles V, who had defeated the French at Pavia, capturing King 
Francis I. The French lost their hold on Naples and Milan. At this point Doge Andrea Gritti, 
whose portrait by Tiziano speaks volumes about his personality, decided to agitate once again the 
banner of Italian freedom. This took the form of the Holy League of Cognac "for the restoration 
of Italian liberty," uniting France, Venice, Milan, Florence, and the Papal States under Pope 
Clement VIII Medici. After having set up this alliance, designed to play the French against 
Charles V once again to destroy Medici-controlled Rome, the last intact Renaissance center, the 
Venetians retired into defensive positions to await the outcome. 

Venetian capacities to manipulate Charles V were formidable indeed. The emperor's bankers and 
intelligencers were the Fuggers of Augsburg, a banking house and a city that must be regarded as 
Venetian satellites, within a context of very heavy Venetian control of the cities of the Danube 
valley. Virtually every young male member of the Fugger family, and of their colleagues the 
Welsers as well, was sent to Venice for a period of apprenticeship at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. 
This was the case with Jacob Fugger the Rich. Venice was the pivot for Fugger metals trading, 
especially toward the East. 

Thus, the Venetians stayed in their phony war posture against Charles V, while the imperial army 
of Lutheran Lanzi under Georg Frundsberg devastated Italy. The sack of Rome in 1527 was the 
direct outcome of this combined Venetian diplomacy and manipulation. To make Charles V's 
triumph complete, the Genoese Admiral Andrea Doria, commanding the French fleet, defected to 
the imperial side. A Doria coup in Genoa then established a permanent de facto alliance with 
Venice. 

In 1530, Charles V was crowned as Holy Roman Emperor and King of Italy in a ceremony at 
Bologna. Garrisons of imperial troops were shortly stationed in every major city. Thanks to the 
tenacious policy of the Venetians, the main centers of the Renaissance had been subverted or 
destroyed. Venice was the only major Italian state which had retained real sovereignty. With the 
end of the Renaissance, Venice could feel free to start a delphic Renaissance among the throngs of 
intellectuals seeking asylum in the lagoons. 
THE CREATION OF THE JESUITS 

The "long autumn of the Italian Renaissance in Venice" during the rest of the sixteenth century 
was only one deployment among several. Another was the promotion of the Protestant 
Reformation. The more immediate controllers of Martin Luther have yet to be identified, but this 
is something of a secondary matter. Luther's agitation in Wittenberg was merely one more 
example of protests against the papacy and the Curia that had been chronic and endemic for 
decades. What gave Luther and the rest of the Protestant reformers real clout was a publicity and 



diffusion of their ideas that owed much to the Venetian publishing establishment. The Venetian 
presses quickly turned out 40,000 copies of the writings of Luther, Calvin, Melancthon, and the 
heresiarch Juan Valdes, especially popular in Italy. 

Pope Leo X publicly denounced the University of Padua as the hotbed of inspiration of the 
German disease of Lutheranism. Clearly, Venetian interest was well-served by a schismatic 
movement that would embroil Germany, France, and the rest of Europe in a series of easily 
profiled conflicts. In addition, a conflict between reformers and counter- reformers, all owing 
allegiance to Aristotle, would severely undercut the influence of Erasmus and others like him. 

Venetian influence on both Reformation and Counter- Reformation can be seen most clearly in the 
remarkable career of Gasparo Contarini, who did not let the fact that he was a Protestant in 
theology, well before Luther, prevent him from founding the Society of Jesus. 

Contarini was the scion of one of Venice's most prestigious LONGHI families. The Contarinis 
had produced seven doges, and Gasparo had his sights set on being the eighth, before he was 
tapped to serve Venice as a member of the College of Cardinals. He served the Serene Republic 
as ambassador to the court of Charles V, and as ambassador to the Vatican, where he took a role 
in setting up the Medici Pope Clement VII for the 1527 sack of Rome. Toward the end of his life, 
Contarini was sent as papal legate to the Imperial Diet at Regenburg, where he represented the 
Roman point of view in debates with schismatics like Melancthon. There, he had a hand in 
destroying any compromise between the Lutherans and the Emperor Charles, which would have 
helped to end the bloodshed and dissension of the Reformation years. 

What does this sublime Venetian patrician have to do with the founding of the Jesuit order by that 
itinerant and deranged mystic, Ignatius of Loyola? Ignatius was the creature of Venice, and of 
Contarini in particular. 

In 1521, Ignatius was wounded while fighting the French in one of the wars of Charles V. During 
his convalescence, he underwent his much-touted mystical crisis, after which he took up the life of 
a hobo. Making his way around Europe seeking funding for a pilgrimage to the holy land, Ignatius 
found his way to Venice, where he camped out in St. Mark's Square and lived by begging. 

One evening the Venetian oligarch Marcantonio Trevisan was sleeping in his golden palace, and 
had a vision. An angel came to him asking, "Why are you sleeping so soundly in your warm bed, 
while in the square there is a holy man, a poor pilgrim who needs your help?" Trevisan rushed 
downstairs to find Ignatius, who became his house guest, fleas and all. 

After that, Ignatius was given an audience with the doge, Andrea Gritti, who offered him passage 
to Cyprus on a Venetian warship as first leg of his pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Ignatius continued his 
travels, but soon returned to Venice to develop relationships with other members of the oligarchy. 
These included Gasparo Contarini's nephew Pietro, who became a recipient of Ignatius' patented 
brainwashing treatment, the Exercitationes Spirituales. 

Then Ignatius made his way to Rome. Here he became the protege of Gasparo Contarini, who had 



been appointed to the College of Cardinals by Pope Paul III Farnese. The cardinal took the 
Exercitationes Spirituales, and appointed Ignatius his personal confessor and spiritual advisor. By 
1540, Contarini had personally interceded with the pope against Ignatius' enemies within the 
church hierarchy to ensure the founding of the Society of Jesus as a new Church order. In June 
1539, Contarini personally traveled to the pope's summer residence at Tivoli, and prevailed on the 
pontiff to let him read aloud the statutes of the new order composed by Ignatius. The pope must 
have been favorably impressed by something. His approving comment Hie est digitus Dei, ("Here 
is the finger of God"), has become a feature of the turgid Jesuit homiletics. 
BIRTH OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT 

An ironic postscript to this story is that later the Venetian oligarchy decided that it simply would 
not do to be too closely identified with the benighted excesses of the Spanish and the papacy they 
so thoroughly dominated. In the years around 1570, accordingly, Venice became the site of the 
first example in Europe of what the French later termed "salons" for socializing and literary 
discussion: the Ridotto Morosini, sponsored by the ancient family of the same name. Here the 
seeds were sown that would later produce free-thinking, l'esprit libertin and the Philosophes - in a 
word, the Enlightenment. The Ridotto Morosini salon was in favor of tolerance and science, 
against everything doctrinaire and narrow. They sheltered Galileo against the Inquisition. Out of 
the Morosini salon came one of the rare public factions in Venetian political history, the so-called 
Giovani. 

The Giovani, in contrast to their rivals, the Vecchi, were in favor of profound innovations in 
Venetian foreign policy. They wished above all to cement alliances with the countries to whom 
they felt the future belonged: France, England, and the Netherlands. The Vecchi, they said, were 
paralyzed by too much fear of Spanish power, and not ready enough to tangle with the people. 

The Giovani were able to implement their program in 1606, when the Pope (now Paul V, Camillo 
Borghese) strenuously objected to the arrest by Venice of several ecclesiastics in its territory. The 
Borghese pope placed Venice under the interdict, and proceeded to excommunicate government 
officials. The main supporter of Venice internationally was James I, the Stuart ruler of England. 

At the same time, the powerful Venetian propaganda apparatus swung into action, under the 
leadership of a Servite monk named Paolo Sarpi, whose lack of noble birth kept him from public 
office. Sarpi was the Venetian contact man for Sir Francis Bacon. 

Sarpi had been in Rome, where he had been associated with Nicholas Bobadilla, one of St. 
Ignatius' original hard core. He had been a friend of Bellarmino, later the Jesuit-general, and his 
direct adversary during the Interdict affair. He was close to Galileo, who called him "my father." 
Sarpi had lent a hand in the construction of Galileo's telescope. Sarpi was lavish in his praise of 
Gilbert's treatise on magnetism. He was also the author of an Arte di Ben Pensare, which is 
curiously similar to the writings of John Locke. Sarpi admitted in private to being "a Protestant." 

He engaged in a long pamphlet war with BeUarmino, and topped this off with a muck-raking 
History of the Council of Trent, which needless to say whitewashed the role of Venetian 
intelligence in the Counter- Reformation. The noise created around the whole affair was so great 



that some people forgot that it had after all been the Venetians, specifically Zuane Mocenigo, who 
had consigned Giordano Bruno - also of Ridotto Morosini - into the hands of the Inquisition just 
a few years before. 
METASTASIS 

The policies of the Giovani, propagandized by Sarpi and Doge Leonardo Dona' during the 
struggle around the Interdict, corresponded to a metastasis of Venice's power and influence 
through the world. The Venetians and their Genoese Doria-faction associates were busily shifting 
their family fortunes into more profitable locations, not tied to the fate of what was rapidly 
becoming a third-rate naval power. 

The Venice-Genoa partnership is in evidence first of all in the banking side of the Spanish looting 
of the New World. Venice got control of the silver corning from the Americas, shifting to a silver 
standard from the previous gold standard in the middle of the sixteenth century. This silver was 
used to pay for the spices and other products from the East. 

Venice was extremely liquid at this time, with about 14 million ducats in coins in reserve around 
1600. At about the same time, incredibly, the Venetian regime had completed the process of 
paying off its entire public debt, leaving the state with no outstanding obligations of any type. This 
overall highly liquid situation is a sure sign that flights of capital are underway, in the direction of 
the countries singled out by the Giovani as future partners or victims: France, England, and the 
Netherlands. 

The Genoese around the St. George's Bank received virtually the entire world's circulating gold 
stocks. The two cities teamed up starting around 1579 at the Piacenza Fair, a prototype of a 
clearing house for European banks, which soon had a turnover of 20 million ducats a year. This 
fair was a precursor of the post-Versailles Bank for International Settlements. 

In 1603, Venice and Genoa assumed direction of the finances of Stuart England, and imparted 
their characteristic method to the British East India Company. It is also this tandem that was 
present at the creation of the great Amsterdam Bank, the financial hinge of the seventeenth 
century, and of the Dutch East India Company. Venice and Genoa were also the midwives for the 
great financial power growing up in Geneva, which specialized in controlling the French public 
debt and in fostering the delphic spirits of the Enlightenment. 

The Venetians, in cooperation with the restored - that is, degenerated - Medici interests, began a 
major move into maritime and other types of insurance. These ventures live on today in the 
biggest business enterprise associated with Venice, the Assicurazioni Generali Venezia, one of the 
biggest if not the biggest insurance and real estate holdings in the world. 

On May 12, 1797, the Gran Consiglio obeyed Napoleon's ultimatum and voted itself out of 
existence. Four thousand French infantrymen paraded on St. Mark's Square, where foreign troops 
had never before in history been seen. The golden Bucentoro was burned and the gold carted off. 
The Venetian "Republic" was finished, but it continued most emphatically to exist in less visible 
but highly effective forms. 



One particular of the last years of Venice is of special interest to us: During the American 
Revolution about 3000 Venetian naval personnel, corresponding to about one-third of the total 
available strength, were serving with the British Royal Navy. 

Commenting on the liquidation of Venice, the great Neapolitan Neoplatonic Giuseppe Cuoco 
wrote: 

"I don't know what will happen to Italy, but the fulfillment of the Florentine secretary's prophecy 
in the destruction of the old, imbecilic Venetian oligarchy will be a great boon for Italy always." 

The reference, of course, is to Machiavelli. 

On the other side, William Wordsworth lamented the demise of "a maiden city," the "eldest child 
of liberty." 
POST MORTEM 

Unfortunately, all the obituaries were premature: Venice has continued to be very much alive. 
During the nineteenth century and up to our own time it has been the most important single 
incubator for fascist movements. With its military and financial power largely emigrated 
elsewhere, Venice's importance for political culture is now greater than ever. 

Examples of this are inexhaustible. Richard Wagner wrote part of Tristan und Isolde while living 
in the Palazzo Giustinian on the Grand Canal. One story has it that the leitmotif of the Liebestod 
was inspired by the mournful call of a gondolier. At the end of his life Wagner moved to Palazzo 
Vendramin Callergi, where he died. This building, presently a gambling casino, was also the home 
of Count Coudenhove- Kalergi, the founder of the Pan-European Union. Friedrich Nietzsche 
loved Venice, returned there incessantly, and dedicated certain poems to the city which today can 
still be used in lieu of a powerful emetic. Venice was an inspiration for Lord Byron, for Thomas 
Mann, and so on. 

Other examples abound of how the Venetian oligarchy's cultural and political influence has 
reached down into the modern era: 

* When British East India Company retainer Thomas Malthus published his Essay on Population 
he was plagiarizing from the Venetian Giammaria Ortes, who produced, around 1750, a fully 
developed version of the argument that geometric population growth outstrips the much slower 
arithmetric progress of food production. 

* John Ruskin, the leading ideologue of the British Dark Ages faction, began his career with a 
raving treatise on architecture, The Stones of Venice (1851). This volume popularized the notion 
that a "Venetian Gothic" style had been developed in the better times of the city's history (which 
for Ruskin ended in 1418) and it was used systematically to discredit the Golden Renaissance. 

* A turn-of-the-century new Roman Empire faction led by Venetian Count Volpi di Misurata, 
who was known as the doge of his era, sponsored the fascist Mussolini supporter Gabriele 



D'Annunzio to drum up enthusiasm for a new crusade into the Balkans and the East. Volpi 
became finance minister in Mussolini's cabinet, along with a very large number of other 
Venetians. D'Annunzio incited the Italians to take back Trieste, the rest of Italia Irredenta, and 
the Dardanelles, bringing on to center stage the so-called Parvus Plan for dismemberment of the 
Ottoman and Russian empires, which is generally recognized as the detonator of World War I. It 
is possible that the turn-of-the- century super spook Alexander Parvus was ultimately employed 
by Venice. 

* The Societe Europeenne de Culture, a think tank created in 1950 through the efforts of 
Venetian intelligence operative Umberto Campagnolo, has for the past three decades pulled 
intellectuals from both East and West into organizing for an "international culture," based on 
rejecting the existence of sovereign nations. The SEC counted among its members the cream of 
the postwar intelligencia: Adam Schaff of Poland, Bertolt Brecht of East Germany, Georg Lukas 
of Hungary, and Boris Paternak of the Soviet Union, as well as Stephen Spender and Arnold 
Toynbee, Benedetto Croce and Norberto Bobbio, Julian Huxley and Thomas Mann, Francois 
Mauriac, and Jean Cocteau. Later, the SEC launched the Third World national liberation 
ideology. 

Today, the Club of Rome is the institution that represents the most concentrated essence of 
Venetian influence and the Venetian method. The Club of Rome wants to convince the great 
powers and peoples of the world to commit collective suicide by accepting the genocidal doctrine 
of zero growth. It also hopes to abolish the sovereign nation as a vehicle for economic growth 
and scientific progress. 

Club of Rome founder Aurelio Peccei has just written a new book titled One Hundred Pages For 
the Future, a global review of the impact of the Club of Rome, and particularly since its 1972 
release of the zero-growth model Limits to Growth was published, a series of social movements 
has sprung up under the sponsorship of the ideas in the book. These - the women's movement, 
the peace movement, Third World national liberation movements, gay rights, civil liberties, 
ecologists, consumer and minority rights, etc. - must now be welded together into one movement 
for a single strategic goal: the implementation of a zero-growth international order. 

The Venetian problem remains with us today. Truly, the most urgent task of this generation of 
mankind is to definitively liquidate the horror that is Venice. The Role of the Venetian Oligarchy in 
Reformation, Counter- reformation, Enlightenment, and the Thirty Years' War CLC Conference, 6 
September 1992; appeared in New Federalist, April, 1993 

During the last dozen years, our philosophical association has advanced the thesis that many of 
the disasters of modern history have been rooted in the heritage of the former Venetian Republic. 
This includes the central role of the Venetians in cutting short the Golden Renaissance of Italy, in 
precipitating the Protestant reformation and the wars of religion, and in creating the 
pseudo-scientific, irrationalist currents of thought that are called the Enlightenment. I would like 
to return to some of these themes today in order to explore them in greater detail. 

Our interest in exposing the Venetian war against the Italian renaissance of the Quattrocento is 



coherent with our commitment to the Renaissance as an ideal, and with our efforts to launch a 
new Renaissance today. As has just been stressed, the benchmark for civilization, culture, religion 
and morality in the last half millennium is constituted by the work of Cardinal Nicolaus of Cusa, 
the founder of modern science, and of his associate Aeneas Silvius Piccolo mini, Pope Pius II. 
Through their cooperation with the best representatives of Medici Florence in the time of the 
Council of Florence of 1439, Nicolaus and Aeneas Silvius saved western civilization from the 
Dark Age that had begun with the defeat of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen at the hands of the 
Black Guelph oligarchs. During that Dark Age, the Roman Catholic Church had been substantially 
destroyed by the Avignon captivity and the Great Schism, both against the backdrop of such 
events as the Hundred Years' War, the Wars of the Roses, and the advance of the Ottoman 
Empire. Without Nicolaus and Aeneas Silvius, there would have been no Europe and no church 
by 1500; Venice opposed both through the Morosini agent Gregory von Heimburg [Gilbert, 191]. 
Paolo Morosini dedicated to Heimburg one of the landmark propaganda pieces on the Venetian 
oligarchical system to be published during the fifteenth century, "Concerning the affairs and 
structure of the Venetian Republic, dedicated to Gregory of Heimburg, the most eminent doctor 
of the Germans." Gregory was the thug and agent provocateur who attempted to sabotage the 
work of Pius II, Cusanus, and Bessarion, and who is thus a prominent and typical representative 
of the anti-papal, anti- imperial current among the electors and other princes (Fuersten) of the 
Holy Roman Empire. This was the stratum of oligarchs played by the Venetians during the 
conciliar movement, mobilized by Venice against Pius II' s proposed crusade, and which would 
form the basis of Luther's support during the "Reformation." 

The essence of Venice is oligarchism, usury, slavery, and the cult of Aristotle. The traditional rate 
of interest was above 20% - a Volcker prime rate. The Venetians were the first in western Europe 
to read Aristotle directly in the Greek text - first at the School of the Rialto, where leading 
patricians lectured on Aristotle, and later, after about 1400, at the University of Padova, where 
the Venetian nobles studied. We must remember that Venice was a branch of the Byzantine 
Empire which became powerful enough to capture Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade, shortly 
after 1200. Venice, like Byzantium, saw religion as a tool of state power, with new cults to be 
concocted as the need arose. 
THE ARISTOTELIAN NETWORK 

During the Quattrocento, Venice developed in Italy and in Europe an extensive Aristotelian 
network. Bernardo Bembo, the Venetian ambassador to Florence and the Florence handler for the 
Venetian Signoria was part of this ("The Venetians are called the new Romans," he wrote.), as 
was his son Pietro Bembo. The Barbaro family was represented by Francesco, Ermolao the elder 
and Ermolao the younger. Giorgione's painting "The Three Philosophers" can be seen as 
depicting three Aristotles: the scholastic Aristotle of the Paris Sorbonne, the Averroistic Aristotle 
derived from the Arabs, and the "modern" Aristotle of Padova-Rialto, perhaps depicted here with 
the features of the younger Ermolao Barbaro. Another family prominent in the effort were the 
Dona', who will pop up again and again in this account. This painting hints at an important 
feature of Venetian method, namely the strategy of dominating culture, religion, and politics 
through the expedient of concocting a series of Aristotelian cults or schools which then contend 
among each other. In the 1400?s the Aristotelian school-men of the Sorbonne were a formidable 
force in theology. But the Venetian oligarchs Giustinian and Quirini, in their pioneering 1513 



reform proposals addressed to Pope Leo X attacked the decadent scholasticism of the Sorbonne, 
saying that the education of clergy must no longer be based on the "fallacious erudition of the 
Parisians" and similar "pagan fables." [Jedin, "Contributo," p. 1 12] (Instead, Giustinian-Querini 
recommended Holy Scripture and Church fathers, especially St. Augustine. They appear to have 
been thinking of the fundamentalism of isolated Biblical quotations as it has in fact flourished 
among the Protestant sects.) [See also Schnitzer, p. 236] 

It should then come as no surprise to find Martin Luther, a few years later, packaging his own 
reform movement in a very similar "anti- Aristotelian" garb, despite the Manichean dualism in 
Luther which led right back to Aristotle's method. Similarly, the pseudo- scientific method 
cooked up by Francis Bacon using the epistemo logical writings of Paolo Sarpi portrayed itself as 
tearing down the authority of Aristotle in favor of scientific experiment. But this does not change 
the fact that Bacon's method was Aristotelian through and through. Bacon touted induction as the 
great alternative to syllogisms, but there is no qualitative difference. 

Another prong of the Venetian war against the Renaissance was Venice's expansion inside Italy, 
on the terraferma, with the aim of conquering the entire Italian peninsula and then of using Italy to 
dominate the world. When it proved impossible to conquer Milan, Florence, the Papal states and 
Naples, Venetian diplomacy invited France and Spain, the emerging great powers, to invade Italy; 
the Venetians thought they could pick up the pieces. Between the French conquest of Milan in 
1494 and the sack of Rome in 1527, Italy was indeed devastated by these rival armies. But the 
entry of the new great powers into Italy also prepared the greatest shock in Venetian history: the 
War of the League of Cambrai. Fighting began in 1509. 

The League of Cambrai was the first broad coalition of European states against a nominally 
Christian nation. It included just about all of Europe: the France of Louis XII, the Holy Roman 
Empire of Maximilan I, Spain, Pope Julius II, the King of Hungary, the Duke of Savoy, the King 
of Cyprus, the Dukes of Ferrara, Milan, Florence, Mantova. Some accounts include England. 
There was a plan to carve up Venice. A painting by Palma Giovane in the Doge's palace depicts 
Doge Loredan and the lion of St. Mark fighting Europa, who rides a bull and carries a shield 
embossed with the arms of the member states of the league. Venice sought help from the Ottoman 
Empire, but was left with no allies. In the decisive battle of Agnadello, French troops crushed the 
Venetian mercenaries. Venice, as Machiavelli exulted, lost all the land it had stolen in the course 
of centuries. The Venetians were driven back to their lagoon; their destruction was imminent. 
Pope Julius II was induced to drop out of the League of Cambrai, but between 1509 and 1513 the 
French forces, with Florentine money, kept the Venetians on the brink of doom. The state was 
close to bankruptcy, and had to borrow from the Chigi of Siena. It was also at this time that the 
Jewish community of Venice came into existence. Previously Jews had been restricted to the role 
of moneylenders on the terraferma. Jews were obliged to live in the quarter called the ghetto, 
whose residents were subjected to special discriminatory laws and were obliged to wear a yellow 
star of David. As the Cambrai crisis deepened, demagogic preachers attempted to blame the 
disasters of Venetian policy on the new Jewish community. [Gilbert, 18, 39] 

In the midst of the hysteria in the lagoon, a religious revival broke out, spurred on by Antonio 
Contarini, the Patriarch of Aquilea. Religious processions and demonstrations multiplied, for the 



deified state and the immortal fondi were in gravest danger. Contarini, whose family will be at the 
center of our story, harangued the Senate on Venetian immorality: "Nunneries served the sexual 
needs of the rich and powerful. Homosexuality was so widespread that female prostitutes had 
come to him complaining that they earned so little they had to exercise their profession into old 
age." [Gilbert, p. 38] Indeed: 10% of the population were female prostitutes at any given time; 
even more important was the prevalence of sodomy, a sure marker for the presence of the 
Bogomil-bugger tradition in epistemology. 

A badly mauled, indebted and humiliated Venice survived the War of the League of Cambrai, but 
the Doge told the 2,500 patricians that the new Spanish power had reduced the republic from a 
great power to "2,500 flies." [H. Brown, p. 150] At the deepest level, some patricians realized 
that the lagoon city could now be crushed like an egg-shell, and was not a suitable base for world 
domination. As after 1200 there had been talk of moving the capital, perhaps to Constantinople, 
so now plans began to hatch that would facilitate a metastasis of the Venetian cancer towards the 
Atlantic world. To make matters worse, the Portuguese access to India had undercut the Venetian 
spice monopoly through the Levant; there was talk of building a Suez canal, but this was 
abandoned. Venice had always thrived through divide and conquer. If Europe could unite against 
Venice, what could Venice do to divide and rend Europe so thoroughly that it would tear itself to 
pieces for more than a century? 
A LOOK AT CONTARINI 

To see how this was done, let us look at Gasparo Contarini, whose studies under the Aristotelian 
Pomponazzi were interrupted when Emperor Maximilian seized Padova. Contarini had helped 
entertain Agostino Chigi when he was negotiating that vital loan. Back at Venice, Contarini 
gravitated to a group of young patricians who gathered at the Camaldolese monastery of San 
Michele on the island of Murano to discuss the salvation of their souls. Remember what Pius II 
had said of the Venetians: "they wish to appear Christians before the world, but in reality they 
never think of God and, except for the state, which they do regard as a deity, they hold nothing 
sacred." [Pius II Commentaries, p. 743] 

One participant was Vincenzo Quirini, who had just been in Germany, where he had been serving 
as the Venetian ambassador to the Empire. "All the princes of the empire, be they prelates or 
secular rulers, harbor a very ill will towards your most illustrious Lordship, which I have seen and 
touched with my hands. . . ." [Alberi, series 1 , vol. 6, p. 43], he warned the Doge. Quirini had seen 
that war was imminent. Another was Paolo Giustinian, who had gone to the Levant in 1507 
(looking for Turkish help?). During the grim winter of 1510-151 1, in the midst of the mortal 
emergency of Cambrai, Giustinian and Quirini turned away from their patrician state careers and 
entered the austere Camaldolese order, first on Murano and later near Arezzo. Giustinian and 
Quirini became the advance guard of the Catholic reformation, shaking up the Camaldolese order 
and later sending the first Catholic reform manifesto, "Pamphlet to Leo X" to the Lateran 
Council. (This proposes the death penalty for Jews who do not convert and a war with the Turks 
in alliance with the young leader of Persia, identified as "Sophi." This is all in addition to the 
attacks on the schoolmen mentioned above. [Schnitzer, p. 227 ff] 

Gasparo Contarini corresponded with Quirini and Giustinian for more than a decade. Parts of this 



correspondence have survived, and illuminate the actual origins of the Protestant Reformation. To 
put them in perspective, let us jump from Gasparo Contarini in Venice in 15 1 1 to Martin Luther 
in the tower of his Wittenberg monastery in the years 1513-1514, the years of Luther's so-called 
"Thurmerlbenis" or experience in the tower, generally regarded as the starting point of the 
Protestant reformation. 
FAITH AND WORKS 

The "Thurmerlebenis" brought Luther to the definitive standpoint of his theology: that salvation is 
by faith alone, with the good works of charity playing no role whatsoever. Luther describes the 
experience thus: 

"These words "just' and "justice of God' were a thunderbolt in my conscience. They soon struck 
terror in me who heard them. He is just, therefore He punishes. But once when in this tower I was 
meditating on those words, "the just lives by faith,' "justice of God,' I soon had the thought 
whether we ought to live justified by faith, and God's justice ought to be the salvation of every 
believer, and soon my soul was revived. Therefore it is God's justice which justifies us and saves 
us. This knowledge the Holy Spirit gave me on the privy in the tower." [Grisar, "Luther," VI, p. 
506.] 

This was Luther's celebrated explication of Paul's Letter to the Romans 1.17: "For therein is the 
righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." This 
passage was ripped out of scriptural and traditional context and made the total passkey. For 
Luther, the devil is an independent power who rules over the material world, so good works 
belong to the devil; human reason is the "bride and whore" of the devil. In those days of greater 
theological knowledge, this could be clearly recognized as a new variation on Manicheanism, the 
idea that good and evil are equally necessary parts of the creation. According to such a Gnostic 
view, the material world is inherently bad, and only the spiritual world can be good. Something 
not so different was professed by the Bogomils. Luther's contemporary and sometime associate 
Philip Melanchton saw Luther in exactly these terms: "Manichean delirium." Luther attempted to 
portray his own viewpoint as a return to St. Augustine's stress on grace as against the ethical 
notions of the late Graeco-Roman world, but this was disingenuous. Luther's marginal jottings to 
Augustine's Confessions have come to light; an interesting one recaptures Luther's reaction to 
Augustine's polemics against the Manicheans and their idea of the two coequal cosmic forces 
locked in struggle. Luther's annotation: "This is false. This is the origin of all Augustine's errors." 
[see Socci and Ricci, and Theobald Beer.] Luther appears to reflect the influence of the 
pseudo-Hermes Trismegistus and his "Book of the 24 Philosophers." 
CONTARINI AND LUTHER 

But in the given historical context it is more than interesting that the top Venetian oligarch of the 
day - Gasparo Contarini - in 1511 went through a Thurmerlebnis of his own. In the Camaldolese 
monastery of Monte Corona above Frascati in the summer of 1943, the German scholar Hubert 
Jedin, acting on the advice of Giuseppe de Luca, discovered 30 letters from Gasparo Contarini to 
the Cambai Camaldolese, Giustinian and Quirini. One is from Eastertide 1511, when Contarini 
went first to the Benedictine monastery on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, and then to San 
Sebastiano. Contarini would have us believe that he was contemplating becoming a monk himself, 



but concluded that even a monastic life of asceticism and good works would never be enough to 
atone for his sins. This is similar to Luther's starting point. A holy father told Contarini that the 
way to salvation is "much broader than what many people think." Contarini writes: 

"... I began to think to myself what that happiness [salvation] might be and what our condition is. 
And I truly understood that if I performed all the penances possible, and even many more, even if 
they were all taken together, they would not be enough to make up for my past sins, to say 
nothing of meriting that felicity. And having seen that infinite goodness, that love which always 
burns infinitely and loves us little worms so much that our intellect cannot fathom it, having only 
by its goodness made us out of nothing and exalted us to such a height . . . We must attempt only 
to unite ourselves with our head [Christ] with faith, with hope, and with that small love of which 
we are capable. As regards satisfaction for sins committed, and into which human weakness falls, 
His passion is sufficient and more than sufficient. Through this thought I was changed from great 
fear and suffering to happiness. I began with my whole spirit to turn to this greatest good which I 
saw, for love of me, on the cross, with his arms open, and his breast opened up right to his heart. 
This I, the wretch who had not had enough courage for the atonement of my iniquities to leave 
the world and do penance, turned to him; and since I asked him to let me share in the satisfaction 
which he, without any sins of his own, had made for us, he was quick to accept me and to cause 
his Father completely to cancel the debt I had contracted, which I myself was incapable of 
satisfying." [Jedin, "Ein 'Thurmerlbenis' des jungen Contarini," p. 117 and Dermot Fenlon, 
"Heresy and Obedience in Tridentine Ital." p. 8.] 

The parallels to Luther are evident, even though Contarini still allows hope and a little love a role 
in salvation, in addition to faith. Later, in a letter of 1523, after Contarini had seen Luther, he 
would go beyond this and wholly embrace the Lutheran position: 

"Wherefore I have truly come to this firm conclusion which, although first I read it and heard it, 
now nonetheless through experience I penetrate very well with my intellect: and that is that no 
one can justify himself with his works or purge his soul of its inclinations, but that it is necessary 
to have recourse to divine grace which is obtained through faith in Jesus Christ, as Saint Paul 
says, and say with him: "Blessed is the man without works, to whom the Lord did not impute 
sin. . . . ' Now I see both in myself and in others that when a man thinks he has acquired some 
virtue, just at the moment it is all the easier for him to fall. Whence I conclude that every living 
man is a thing of utter vanity, and that we must justify ourselves through the righteousness of 
another, and that means of Christ: and when we join ourselves to him, his righteousness is made 
ours, nor must we rely on ourselves to the smallest degree, but must say: Trom ourselves we 
received the answer of death.'" [Jedin, p. 127] 

Contarini was always much more careful in the writings he published; in his treatise De 
Praedestinatione he says that Christians should "seek to exalt as much as possible the grace of 
Christ and faith in him, and to humble as much as possible the confidence we feel in our works, 
our knowledge and our will." 

These letters, first published in 1950, make Contarini the first Protestant, the undisputed 
caposcuola among those in Italy who argued for salvation ex sola fede, and who were called 



evangelicals, crypto-Protestants, or "spirituali," to whom we will return shortly. 

Let us consider first whether there was any way that the tidings of Contarini's new stress on faith, 
developed during the Cambrai crisis, might have been transmitted to Germany. There was, in the 
form of a Venetian Aristotelian network which reached into the court of Frederick the Wise, the 
Elector of Saxony, who protected Luther from Pope Leo X's extradition demands and from the 
ban the empire placed on Luther by Emperor Charles V. 
MUTIANUS RUFUS AND S PALATUM 

Our knowledge of this network begins with the figure of one Conradus Mutianus Rufus, who was 
in the early 1500s the Kanonikus of the Marienstift in Gotha, a Latin and Greek scholar and cleric 
who had traveled to Italy during the period 1499-1503, and who had studied in Bologna and 
visited other cities, including Venice. Mutianus Rufus had been in contact with members of the 
Signoria: "I saw Venetian patricians wearing a silken belt which hung down on one side and went 
around one arm," [Briefwechsel des Conradus Mutianus, p. 249] he wrote to a correspondent in 
1509. Mutianus came to know Aldus Manutius, the celebrated Venetian publisher of Latin, 
Greek, and other learned texts (and the target of Erasmus's satire in the hilarious Opulentia 
Sordida). With Aldus we are at the heart of the Venetian intelligence networks among the 
self-styled humanists around 1500. In February 1506, with the Cambrai war clouds on the 
horizon, Aldus had written to Mutianus's disciple Urbanus: "I most highly esteem S. Mutianus 
Rufus because of his learning and humanity and confess myself to be very much in his debt, on the 
one hand because he constantly speaks well of me, and on the other because he kindly procured 
for me the friendship of a man decked out with learning and holy ways like you. And therefore if I 
did not only esteem you and Mutianus and Spalatinus completely as men both learned and 
well-disposed towards me, but also love you so very much in return, I would be the most 
ungrateful man of all. But I love you and honor and render you immortal thanks because you have 
summoned me to this mutual good will." [See Briefwechsel, p. 37.] 

The other disciple of Mutianus Rufus named here, Spalatinus, is the one we focus on. Georg 
Burckhardt was born in the town of Spalt, near Nuremberg, in 1484. His birthplace is an omen, 
for Burckhardt, or Spalatinus in his humanist name, was destined to play a decisive role, second 
perhaps only to Luther himself, in the greatest church split [Kirchenspaltung] of recent history. 
Spalatin, a student at Erfurt, became a protege of Mutianus Rufus in 1504, visiting him in his 
Gotha office where "Farewell to Cares" was inscribed on the door. Another of Mutianus's 
network was Jo harm Lang of Erfurt, who would shortly reside in an Augustinian monastery 
alongside a certain Martin Luther, who had studied in Erfurt after 1501 at the same time as 
Spalatin. [Irmgard Hoess, George Spalatin (Weimar, 1956)] 

In 1505, Mutianus Rufus found Spalatin a job at the monastery in Georgenthal, where he was 
responsible for purchasing books for the library. The orders were made with Aldus Manutius in 
Venice, with payment by way of the Fugger copper mines in Hohenkirchen. In December 1505, 
Spalatin wrote to Mutianus to make sure that he included in the order the Castigationes Plinianae, 
written by Ermolao Barbaro the Younger. Later Spalatin became a personal secretary to the 
Elector of Saxony, Frederick the Wise, gradually acquiring responsibility for Frederick's prized 
collection of relics of the saints, and also for the newly founded University of Wittenberg and for 



its library. Gradually Spalatin became something like a junior minister, responsible for educational 
and religious affairs. 

In 1512, during the Cambrai war, Mutianus and Spalatin received a report that Aldus was on his 
way to Germany with a cargo of precious Greek and Latin manuscripts; Spalatin wrote to Aldus 
on March 25, 1512, proposing that Aldus meet with Frederick the Wise for a major book 
purchase. Was Aldus planning a mission in order to secure strategic help for the Most Serene 
Republic in Venice's hour of need? Aldus apparently did not make the trip, but in December 
1512, Frederick the Wise wrote to Aldus, and Spalatin prepared the Latin text. In 1515, Spalatin 
placed a new book order for Greek and Latin texts with the Aldus firm. 

It is not known exactly when Spalatin met Luther for the first time, but Luther's first extant letter 
to Spalatin is placed in about February 1514, in the middle of the Thurmerlebnis [tower 
experience] period. Spalatin had asked Luther's opinion on the controversy over the Hebrew and 
Talmudic studies of Johannes Reuchlin, whom Frederick was supporting. This began a 
correspondence, of which 400 of Luther's letters to Spalatin, but only a few of Spalatin's to 
Luther, have survived. Spalatin appears as Luther's interlocutor in theology ("he influenced 
Luther very strongly in the direction of clarity," says Hoess), but his adviser and indeed his 
controller in matters of political tactics and strategy. The letters peak in 1521, but continue 
thereafter; "there is no one in our group whom I would prefer to you," wrote Luther to Spalatin 
on December 12, 1524. 

In 1515-16 Luther gave his lecture on salvation through faith alone, although the first written 
expression of this seems to have been in a letter to Spalatin of October 19, 1516, where he wrote: 
"First man must change himself; only then can his works be changed" - a leading idea expressed 
by Giustinian-Quirini. 

In September 1516 Spalatin joined the Kanzelei of Frederick. Here Spalatin acted as Luther's 
intercessor, especially after he became the confessor to the vacillating and indecisive Frederick in 
1517-18. After Luther, on Halloween 1517, had posted his theses on the door of the Wittenberg 
cathedral, it was Spalatin who convinced Frederick to keep the matter in Saxony, and not permit 
the case to go to Rome. When Luther went to Heidelberg for a theological debate, Spalatin made 
sure he had an escort provided by Frederick. In July 1518, Luther was summoned to Rome by the 
Holy See, and he appealed urgently for help: "I now need your help most urgently, my Spalatin, 
and so does the honor of our whole university!" At the next imperial diet, Cardinal Cajetan asked 
for money to fight the Turks, only to be answered by a rehearsal of the complaints of the German 
nation against the Holy See. Here Frederick was able to convince Maximilian to allow Luther's 
case to stay in Germany. The anti-papal and anti-imperial princely oligarchical party coalesced in 
support of Luther. This made what Leo X had dismissed as "a quarrel among monks" into the 
Reformation. 

Later we find Spalatin unsuccessfully telling the hot-headed Luther to keep a low profile. At one 
point Luther was requesting that official documents of Saxony be falsely dated to protect him. 
(Hoess, p. 131) When Luther was called to Augsburg, Spalatin secured an escort, by indirect 
means. 



So sure was Luther of Frederick's support (and Spalatin's influence) that he could write to 
Cardinal Cajetan on October 18, 1518: "For I know that I can make myself more agreeable to our 
most illustrious prince by appealing rather than by recanting." (Hoess, p. 136) Later the same 
autumn, Spalatin, fearing Luther was in danger, warned him to flee, and Luther organized a 
farewell dinner in his cloister, but a message from Spalatin then arrived telling him that the danger 
was past, and he could remain. (This puts Luther's "Here I stay, I cannot do otherwise" in a new 
light.) After Luther had publicly burned Leo X's bull of excommunication in December 1520, 
Frederick protected him from extradition. Spalatin appealed for and got from Erasmus a statement 
in support of Luther against Rome. In his response, Erasmus warned that those handling Luther's 
case on behalf of the Roman curia were in effect acting as provocateurs, seeking to exploit the 
Luther issue in order to suppress humanistic learning. For Erasmus, humanistic learning was 
Platonic. There is every indication that Cajetan, Eck, Aleandro, and others acting in the name of 
Leo X were indeed doing what Erasmus suggested. 

Spalatin accompanied Luther to the Diet of Worms in 1521 as his principal handler, spin doctor, 
and adviser. Here Contarini was also present, though all sources consulted are suspiciously 
emphatic that Contarini, present as the Venetian ambassador to Charles V, never met personally 
with Luther, although the two were at the plenary sessions. After Charles V had set the ban of the 
empire on Luther, Spalatin organized the coup de main which brought Luther into the safety of 
Frederick's Wartburg Castle. Here Luther's fame and following grew rapidly while he enjoyed 
immunity; the empire shortly went to war with France in one of the sequelae of Cambrai. Later, 
Spalatin would go on to become Saxony's chancellor or prime minister. 

Were there other channels of Venetian communication between the lagoon and Saxony during this 
period? There was at least one other, which involved Frederick's hobby of collecting the relics of 
the saints, a practice Luther condemned as idolatrous. "Since 1515, a German friar, Burckhard 
Schenk von Simau, had been a reader in theology at the Franciscan convent of San Nicolo' in 
Venice. Perhaps because of his kinship with the Ernestine branch of the Saxon ruling line, he had 
a standing commission from Frederick the Wise to purchase books and relics for the Elector's 
outstanding collections. One of Schenk's most useful Italian contacts proved to be [Pier Paolo] 
Vergerio's brother Giacomo, a fellow Franciscan, who told him that the eastern coast of the 
Adriatic was a rich hunting ground for relics and suggested that younger members of his family 
might be available to make deliveries to Saxony. Accordingly, in July 1521, Aurelio Vergerio set 
off on a trip to the domain of Frederick the Wise, only to turn back at Innsbruck on account of 
illness. Schenk then turned his attention to another member of the Vergerio clan. Writing on 
October 19, 1521 to Georg Spalatin, the Elector's counselor, he stated that he had met Pier Paolo 
[Vergerio], a gifted youth who ranked high among the students of law at Padova [Padua] and was 
well trained in the humanities. The young Capodistrian, Schenk asserted, was interested in 
completing his legal studies at Wittenberg. Assuring Spalatin that Vergerio would be a credit to 
the university, the friar urged that he be strongly recommended to the Elector. Apparently the 
response from Spalatin was encouraging, for Pier Paolo made preparations to leave for Saxony; 
he was deterred from starting his journey, however, by reports of an outbreak of plague along the 
route. By the following summer the invitation had been withdrawn. "On July 28, 1522, Spalatin 
informed Schenk that in the light of the recent religious developments in Wittenberg, Frederick 
the Wise considered it prudent to cease collecting relics. Spalatin added that he could promise 



nothing further to the Vergerios." (Schutte, pp. 30-31.) According to another account, Spalatin 
wrote to an unnamed "Venetian merchant" at this time: "I am returning herewith the relics as well 
as the crucifix, in hopes you will sell them as advantageously as possible, for in Venice they 
probably cost more and are valued more highly than here. Here the common man is so well 
instructed that he thinks (and rightly so) that only faith and confidence toward God, and brotherly 
love, are enough." [H.G. Haile, p. 8] 
THE SPIRITUAL! 

Pier Paolo Vergerio of Capodistria attended the University of Padova and married Diana 
Contarini of the Contarini family in 1526. [Nuntiaturberichte aus Deutschland, I, p. 14] He later 
became a papal diplomat and met with Luther in Wittenberg in 1535, during the period of the 
Smalkaldic League, the Protestant alliance which warred against Charles V in 1546-47. Later, 
Vergerio was to become an active publicist in the Protestant cause. Vergerio belongs to the group 
of Spirituali around Contarini. 

When Contarini returned in 1525 from his mission with Charles V in Germany, the Low 
Countries, and Spain, he told the Senate: "The character and customs of the Germans are close to 
feral; they are robust and courageous in war; they have little regard for death; they are suspicious 
but not fraudulent or malicious; they are not sublimely intelligent, but they apply themselves with 
so much determination and perseverance that they succeed as well in various manual crafts as they 
do in letters, in which many are now devoting themselves and make great profit. . . . The forces of 
Germany, if they were unified, would be very great, but because of the divisions which exist 
among them, they are only small. . . ." [Alberi, p. 21] Venetian publishing and Venetian networks 
would now be mobilized to guarantee the spread of Lutheranism and its variants all over Germany 
in order to perpetuate and exacerbate these divisions. 

In 1516, a year before Luther's Wittenberg theses, Contarini wrote De Officio Episcopi, a treatise 
of church reform for his friend Lippomanno, who was about to become a bishop. Contarini then, 
as we have seen, served as Venetian ambassador to Charles V and the Pope. During the early 
1530s, Contarini began meeting with a group of patricians who represented the heart of the Italian 
evangelical or crypto-Protestant movement, and who would launch the Reformation inside the 
Roman Catholic Church during the pontificate of Paul III Farnese. The meetings were often held 
in the gardens of Cortese's San Giorgio Maggiore. These were the Spirituali, interested in the 
writings of Juan Valdez of Spain, who had come to Naples to teach that justification was given to 
us as God's gratuitous gift. Our responsibility, said Valdez, was to take this Beneficio di Cristo 
given to us through the Holy Spirit and manifested in good works, which were however without 
merit. Awareness of all this came to Valdez, like Contarini, through "esperienza." Valdez's 
followers were mainly oligarchs, and his works were published in Venice. 

Along with Contarini there were now: Gregorio Cortese, the abbot of the Benedictines of San 
Giorgio Maggiore; the English emigre Reginald Pole, a member of the former English ruling 
house of Plantagenet now living at Pietro Bembo's villa (Bembo had changed his lifestyle enough 
to become Bishop of Bergamo and would become a cardinal); and G.P. Caraffa of Naples, linked 
to the Oratory of Divine Love in Rome, co-founder of the new Theatine Order and later Pope 
Paul IV. 



Arrayed later around these were the Bishop of Carpentras Jacopo Sadoleto, G.M. Giberti, the 
spirituale bishop of Verona on Venetian territory, and Cardinal Morone, who presided at the last 
sessions of the Council of Trent. There was the papal legate Vergerio. Later, through the circle 
set up by Reginald Pole at Viterbo, Vittoria Colonna and Giulia Gonzaga would come into the 
picture, joined by Marcantonio Flamminio, Ochino, Vermigli, and others. Vergerio, Ochino, and 
Vermigli later became apostates, going over to Protestantism. Many ideas common to this group 
were expressed in a tract called the Beneficio di Cristo, and were popular among Benedictines. 
The Beneficio had been written by a Benedictine (Benedetto Fontanino) using Calvin's "Institutes 
of the Christian Religion" of 1539. This Benedetto had been at Cortese's San Giorgio Maggiore 
around 1534. [Fenlon, chapter 5] With the help of Marcantonio Flamminio, the Beneficio was 
published in Venice in 1543, and sold 40,000 copies in that city alone. 

The Spirituali later tended to separate into two wings: The first were liberal, tolerant, conciliatory, 
open to dialogue with Protestants, and included especially Pole, Morone, and Vittoria Colonna. 
Then there were the zelanti, like Caraffa, who tended towards militant and inquisitorial methods, 
and who came into conflict with Spirituali like Pole and Morone, accusing them of heresy. 
Contarini had died before this division became pronounced. 

Reginald Pole had been sent to Padova by Henry VIII because his claim on the English throne was 
as good as or better than Henry's: Pole was a Plantagenet. When he joined the general 
post-Cambrai shift out of Aristotelian letters and into piety, he was influenced by a certain Padre 
Marco of the Paduan Benedictines of Santa Giustina. Pole was close to the Venetian banker 
Alvise Priuli. Around 1540, Pole was the governor of Viterbo in the Papal states, where he 
developed a close relation with Vittoria Colonna of the Roman black nobility. She had been in the 
Juan Valdez circle and the Oratory of Divine Love. In 1541, her kinsman, Ascanio Colonna, 
waged civil war against Pope Paul III Farnese but was defeated. Vittoria Colonna was known as a 
poetess whose "Rime Spirituali" expressed some of the favorite themes of the pro-Venetian 
Spirituali. Pole on one occasion advised Vittoria Colonna that she should believe as if salvation 
depended on faith alone, while acting as if it were dependent on good works as well. Contarini 
dedicated his treatise on the freedom of the will to Vittoria Colonna. As for Pole, he is important 
because of his later role in England. 
THE ENGLISH SCHISM 

In 1527, the year of the Sack of Rome, King Henry VIII began to mature his plan to divorce his 
wife Catherine of Aragon, who had given him a daughter but no son, and to marry the court lady 
Anne Boleyn. When Pope Clement VII Medici, under occupation by Charles V, refused to grant 
an annulment, Henry VIII appealed to scholars and universities for their opinions. One such 
opinion came from the Franciscan Friar Francesco Giorgi, a member of the Venetian Zorzi 
patrician clan. Giorgi was the author of De Harmonia Mundi (Venice 1525), a mystical work with 
influences deriving from the Hebrew Cabala. Giorgi assured Henry VIII that the Biblical text 
applicable to his situation was Leviticus 18:16, in which marriage between a man and his brother's 
wife was forbidden. Catherine had been previously married to Henry's brother Arthur. 
Deuteronomy 25.5-6, in which such a marriage is proscribed, was irrelevant, Giorgi-Zorzi told 
Henry. Giorgi, accompanied by the Hebrew scholar Marco Raphael, journeyed to England, where 
they arrived in 1531; Giorgi remained at the English court until his death in 1540. Giorgi is 



reputed to have contributed mightily to the initiation of a school of Venetian pseudo- Platonic 
mysticism in England. This was later called Rosicrucianism, among other names, and influenced 
such figures as John Dee, Robert Fludd, Sir Philip Sydney, Edmund Spenser, and Sir Francis 
Bacon. Such were the Masonic beginnings of the Venetian Party, which, by the accession of 
James I, became the dominant force in British life. Bembo and Pole had their own contacts with 
Cabalists, but Contarini had the inside track: Giorgi lived in Contarini's immediate neighborhood, 
and Contarini grew up and went to school with Giorgi's nephews. Later, Contarini and Giorgi 
became close friends. (Dittrich, p. 456) Giorgi and Raphael were clearly acting for the Signoria 
and the Council of Ten. 

Shortly before the arrival of Giorgi, Thomas Cromwell replaced Cardinal Wolsey as the chief 
adviser to Henry VIII. Cromwell had all the marks of the Venetian agent. Cromwell had 
reportedly been a mercenary soldier in Italy during the wars of the early 1500s, and, according to 
Pole, was at one time the clerk or bookkeeper to a Venetian merchant. One version has Cromwell 
working for 20 years for a Venetian branch office in Antwerp. This was the man who judicially 
murdered St. Thomas More, the eminent Erasmian. "Yet it was apparently at this very time, just 
after Cardinal Wolsey's fall, that [Cromwell] found means of access to the king's presence and 
suggested to him that policy of making himself head of the Church of England," which would 
enable him to have his own way in the matter of the divorce and give him other advantages as 
well. So at least we must suppose from the testimony of Cardinal Pole, writing nine or ten years 
later. Henry, he tells us, seeing that even Wolsey "could no longer advance the project [of his 
divorce], was heard to declare with a sigh that he could prosecute it no longer; and those about 
him rejoiced for a while in the belief that he would abandon a policy so fraught with danger. But 
he had scarcely remained two days in this state of mind when a messenger of Satan (whom [Pole] 
afterwards names as Cromwell) addressed him and blamed the timidity of his councilors in not 
devising means to gratify his wishes. They were considering the interests of his subjects more than 
his, and seemed to think princes bound by the same principles as private persons were. But a king 
was above the laws, as he had the power to change them, and in this case he had the law of God 
actually in his favor. . . ." Pole wrote this in a dedicatory epistle to Charles V. [Pole, Epistolae, 
1 13-140] Pole says that Cromwell offered him a copy of Machiavelli's The Prince, which he 
highly recommended. "I found this type of book to be written by an enemy of the human race," 
Pole wrote later. "It explains every means whereby religion, justice, and any inclination toward 
virtue could be destroyed." [Dwyer, p. xxiii] But The Prince was published years later. 

Henry VIII later called on Pole for his opinion on "the king's great matter." Pole responded with 
a violently provocative tirade designed to goad the paranoid Henry into a homicidal fit. "I have 
long been aware that you are afflicted with a serious and most dangerous disease," Pole wrote. "I 
know that your deeds are the source of all this evil." "The succession of the kingdom is called into 
doubt for love of a harlot. . . . Anyone resisting your lies is punished by death. Your miserable apes 
of sophists talk nonsense. . . . Your pestilential flatterers. ... By the stench of his mind a flatterer 
happens upon such tricks." [ Dwyer, p. xviii] 

Pole also revealed to Henry that he had urged Charles V to cease hostilities with the Ottoman 
Empire, and direct his military might to wiping out Henry's regime. [Dwyer, pp. 271-78] Since 
Pole could easily have assumed the role of Plantagenet pretender, Henry had to take this very 



seriously, which added to his mental imbalance. Henry took revenge by executing Pole's mother 
and brother, who had both stayed behind in England and whose fate Pole had curiously neglected 
when he sent his challenge to Henry. 

The creation and preservation of a Protestant regime in England was one of the principal goals of 
Venetian policy. Wars between England and France, and between England and Spain, were the 
essence of Venetian policy. After the death of Henry VIII and the death of his son Edward VI, 
Pole returned to England as the chief adviser and virtual controller of the Catholic Queen Mary 
Tudor, known as Bloody Mary. Earlier Pole had been considered a candidate to marry Mary, but 
now he was a cardinal and papal legate. Mary was wed to Philip II of Spain, creating the 
possibility of an Anglo-Spanish rapprochement that was highly unacceptable to Venice. Mary's 
succession was helped by Sir William Cecil, the first Baron Burghley, a Venetian agent who had 
been a key figure of the last period of Edward VFs reign. Pole, even though he was one of the 
Spirituali, could be highly inquisitorial when the interests of Venice required slaughter to create 
religious enmities that would last for centuries: Between 1553 and 1558, Pole and Mary presided 
over what many British historians claim to be the largest number of politically motivated 
executions in the history of England. Their claim is dubious, but some 300 persons were burned 
for heresy, and one Anglican prelate described Pole as "butcher and scourge of the Anglican 
church." Pole, acting under instructions from Pope Paul IV, also insisted on full restitution of the 
church lands and property seized by Henry VIII, which would have wiped out a large section of 
the English nobility. These measures made Mary so unpopular that it was clear that she would not 
have a Catholic successor. That successor would be Elizabeth, under the dominant influence of 
Cecil, who had early gone over to the opposition to Bloody Mary Tudor. In his 1551 report to the 
Venetian Senate, Daniele Barbara remarked on the religious habits of the English, "among whom 
nothing is more inconstant than their decrees on matters of religion, since one day they do one 
thing and the next day they do another. This feeds the resistance of those who have accepted the 
new laws, but who find them most offensive, as was seen in the rebellions of 1549. And in truth, if 
they had a leader, even though they have been most severely punished, there is no doubt that they 
would rebel again. It is true that the people of London are more disposed than the others to 
observe what they are commanded, since they are closer to the court." [Alberi, series I, volume 2, 
pp. 242-43] 

THE COUNTER-REFORMATION 

What is called the Catholic Reformation or Counter- Reformation is said to begin with the 
pontificate of Paul III Farnese. Paul III had studied with the humanist Pomponius Laetus. He had 
been made cardinal by Alexander VI Borgia, usually seen by church historians as the most 
reprobate of the Renaissance popes. Because Giulia Farnese had been Alexander VI's mistress at 
this time, Cardinal Farnese was known as the petticoat cardinal. Paul III had several children of 
his own, two of whom he made cardinals and governors of provinces controlled by the church. It 
was Paul III who elevated Contarini, Pole, Sadoleto, and Caraffa and the rest of the Venetian 
group to the cardinalate. Later, Pietro Bembo, Morone, and other Venetians and Venetian assets 
followed. 

In 1537, Paul III directed Contarini to chair a commission that would develop ways to reform the 
church. Contarini was joined by Caraffa, Sadoleto, Pole, Giberti, Cortese of San Giorgio 



Maggiore, plus prelates from Salerno and Brindisi - an overwhelmingly Venetian commission. 
This was the Consilium de Emendenda Ecclesia. The Contarini commission at the outset sought 
to identify the cause of the evils and abuses of the church, including simony, multiple benefices, 
bishops who did not live in their sees, moral failures, sybaritic lifestyles among prelates, and the 
like. The commission said nothing of oligarchism or usury, but gave all the blame to the excessive 
power which the Roman pontiffs had arrogated to themselves. "From this results, even more 
because adulation always follows the supreme power just as a shadow follows a body, and the 
path of truth to the ears of the prince was always a very difficult one, that, as the doctors 
immediately proclaim, who teach that the pope is master of all benefices, on that account, since a 
master can by law sell what is his, it necessarily follows that the pope cannot be accused of 
simony, so that the will of the pope, whatever it might be, must be the rule which directs these 
operations and action. From which it results without doubt that whatever the pope wants is also 
sanctioned by law. And from this source, as if from a Trojan horse, have come into the church of 
God so much abuse and such serious sickness, that we now see the church afflicted almost by 
despair of recovery. The news of these things has reached the unbelievers (as Your Holiness is 
told by experts) who ridicule the Christian religion chiefly for this reason, to the point that 
because of us, because of us we say, the name of Christ is blasphemed among the peoples." 
[Concilium Tridentinum, XII, pp. 134-35] 

The overall thrust of the document is best summed up in the following two passages: 

"We think, Holy Father, that this has to be established before all other things: as Aristotle says in 
his 'Polities', just as in any republic, so in the ecclesiastical governance of the church of Christ, 
this rule has to be observed before all others: that the laws have to be complied with as much as 
possible. For we do not think we are permitted to exempt ourselves from these laws, except for 
an urgent and necessary reason." (p. 135, emphasis in original) 

Thus, Aristotle was made the guiding light of the "reform," in the document that opened the 
campaign for the Council of Trent. The leading anti- Aristotelian Platonist of the day did not 
escape condemnation: "And since they habitually read the colloquia of Erasmus to children in the 
schools, in which colloquia there are many things which shape these uncultivated souls towards 
impiety, therefore the readings of these things and any others of the same type ought to be 
prohibited in literary classes." (p. 141) 

Erasmus had broken with Luther very early, despite the maneuvers of Spalatin, and had attacked 
Luther's ideas of the bondage of the will with a reaffirmation of the Platonic concept of the 
freedom of the will. Contarini and Pole had both corresponded with Erasmus, and Paul III offered 
to make him a cardinal on one occasion. The accusation made here is almost identical to Luther's, 
who had told Erasmus, "You are not pious!" 

The Vatican archives, then and now, contained the detailed reform proposals elaborated by Pius II 
and Nicolaus of Cusa during the previous century. An honest attempt at reform would have based 
itself explicitly on these proposals. The reform undertaken by the Contarini commission was going 
in a very different direction, and some of the works of Pius II were shortly placed on the Index of 
Prohibited Books. 



The Vatican wanted the Contarini commission's report to be kept secret, but it was promptly 
leaked and published by such diverse sponsors as Vergerio, Luther, and the German Protestant 
Sturmius; the English version was issued by one Richard Morsyne in 1538. 

In 1539, Contarini was instrumental in convincing Paul III to approve the creation of Ignazio de 
Loyola's Society of Jesus as a holy order. In 1541, Contarini was the papal representative along 
with Morone at the discussions among Catholics and Protestants in Regensburg, where he 
proposed a compromise solution on the key issue of justification; on the one hand recognizing a 
justitia imputata to satisfy the Lutherans, while retaining some role for the justitia inhaerens. The 
compromise was rejected by both Wittenberg and Rome, and to some it seemed that Contarini 
had been trying to create a third camp. Contarini died in 1542. 

The first session of the Council of Trent was convoked under Paul III, with Pole and Caraffa as 
members of the committee of cardinals to oversee the proceedings. At the death of Paul III 
Farnese in 1549, Pole turned out to be the papal candidate of the Emperor Charles V and of the 
Spirituali. He was assisted by Priuli, the Venetian banker. The anti- Spanish Caraffa was the other 
homestretch contender, receiving support from the French cardinals led by Guise. At one point, 
Pole was almost made Pope by imperial acclamation. During one ballot, Pole came within a single 
vote of a two-thirds majority and thus of Peter's chair. Caraffa turned against Pole during the 
conclave and accused him of "certain errors" in religion; Caraffa claimed that Pole had maintained 
"a platoon of heretics and of highly suspect persons" in his home in Viterbo. Guise accused Pole 
of leaving the Council of Trent in order to avoid a debate on justification. Finally, Cardinal Del 
Monte was elected as Julius III, and reigned from 1550 to 1555. Pole was one of his seven 
commissioners for the protection of the faith. Then Marcellus II Cervini died after a month in 
office, and was succeeded with Venetian help by Caraffa, who took the name of Paul IV. Caraffa 
started a reign of terror against the surviving Spirituali, many of them his former associates. 
Morone was jailed in 1557, and Pole was instructed to return to Rome to face a trial for heresy on 
account of his activities in Viterbo. Pole was protected by Mary Tudor. As it turned out, Pole 
died a few hours after Mary. 
THE INDEX 

The pontificate of Paul IV marked a long pause in the Council of Trent, since Caraffa preferred to 
act as an autocrat. In 1557, Caraffa instituted the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. [Index, Venice: 
Aldus, 1564] It was no surprise that the writings of Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Melanchthon, Juan 
Valdez, the Anabaptists, the Koran, and the 1531 Augsburg Confession were banned on pain of 
excommunication and possible jail or banishment. Also outlawed were the scabrous Facetia of 
Poggio Bracciolini and the writings of Pietro Aretino. But also on the list were all of Peter 
Abelard, Dante's De Monarchia, all of Machiavelli, most of the works of Erasmus (including the 
Colloquies, the Praise of Folly, and others), Lorenzo Valla, and even a text identified as Alcuin's 
commentary on the Trinity, which was alleged to be by Calvin. Most stunning is the presence of 
Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini himself, Pope Pius II, one of the defenders of the church and of 
civilization: The Index banned those writings which Aeneas Silvius had retracted, presumably in a 
papal bull of April 26, 1463; these sustained theses of the conciliar movement. Pius II had also 
retracted youthful writings on love themes; the effect on all of Pius II's works was chilling. 



The anti-Platonic and pro-Aristotelian bias of the Index was a barometer of who now held power 
in Rome. By 1565, there were no fewer than seven Venetian cardinals, one of the largest if not the 
largest national caucus. In the early 1600s, the general of the Jesuits would be Bellarmine, who 
had been steeped in Aristotle from his youth. Francesco Toledo, a professor at the Collegio 
Romano, attributed to Aristotle's logic a perfection so total that "scarcely anyone has surpassed 
him in any point." "Moreover," added Toledo, "it appears that he has been more received by the 
church than other philosophers, especially in the last millennium; and he has been used in the 
instruction of youth to the exclusion of all others." [Bouwsma, p. 296] Interestingly, Contarini's 
friend Cardinal Morone was released after two years in jail and became the presiding officer of the 
final session of the Council of Trent. 
CRISIS IN VENICE 

During the second half of the 1500s, Venice was in rapid decline. The naval victory of Lepanto in 
1571 had not been sufficient to regain Cyprus from the Ottoman Empire, and Venice had been 
widely attacked for making a separate peace with the Ottomans. After the Cyprus war, Venice 
entered into a permanent commercial crisis, in part because of English and Dutch rivalry. Textile 
production of silk and wool also declined. The same happened with printing in part because of the 
Index Librorum Prohibitorum. Shipbuilding in the arsenal diminished. In 1575-77, there was an 
outbreak of the plague, with tens of thousands of deaths in Venice. In 1590, there was a serious 
famine, and food supplies did not return to normal until 1594. Part of this impoverishment was 
due to the fact that Venice, in spite of its wretched economy, was pursuing a policy of totally 
retiring the public debt. This was made easier by going from a gold to a silver standard in 1562. 
The Cyprus war had cost 6 million ducats, but the government now paid off the Monte Vecchio, 
the Monto Novo, the Monte Novissimo, and the Monte di Sussidio, so that by 1600 all had been 
liquidated. In 1600, Venice was reported to have a reserve hoard in coin of 12-14 million ducats. 
It is evident that family fondi that had been invested in the monti [loans] were being transferred 
elsewhere as flight capital: One destination was certainly the Amsterdam Bank, which was 
founded at about this time. Later in the century there would be the Bank of England. 

After 1582, the oligarchical Venetian government institutions were controlled by the Giovani, a 
cabal of patricians who had emerged from a salon of strategic discussions called Ridotto 
Morosini. The participants included Morosini, Nicolo Contarini, Leonardo Dona, Antonio 
Querini, the Servite monks Paolo Sarpi, and Fulgenzio Micanzio, Galileo Galilei, and sometimes 
Giordano Bruno. The Giovani were determined to be more aggressive against Spain, which 
occupied Milan and Naples, and against the papacy: these Sarpi called the Diacatholicon. The 
Giovani were interested in France, Holland, Protestant Germany, and England as counterweights 
to the Diacatholicon. Out of the Ridotto Morosini would come the French Enlightenment, British 
empiricism, and the Thirty Years' War. 

Let us sample the epistemology of the Giovani, using Sarpi and his precursor Paolo Paruta. The 
Giovani were skeptics, full of contempt for man and for human reason. Sarpi admired the French 
essayist Michel de Montaigne, who had been educated by a father who had been in Italy as a 
soldier and probably imbibed Venetian teachings; Montaigne himself had made the pilgrimage to 
Venice. Sarpi agreed with Montaigne that man was the most imperfect of animals. 



Sarpi was a precursor of Bentham's hedonistic calculus. Man was a creature of appetites, and 
these were insatiable, especially the libido dominandi. "We are always acquiring happiness, we 
have never acquired it and never will," wrote Sarpi. [Pensiero 250] 

Paruta had been an empiricist: "Although our intellect may be divine from its birth, nevertheless 
here below it lives among these earthly members and cannot perform its operations without the 
help of bodily sensation. By their means, drawing into the mind the images of material things, it 
represents these things to itself and in this way forms its concepts of them. By the same token it 
customarily rises to spiritual contemplations not by itself but awakened by sense objects." 
[Bouwsma, p. 206] 

Sarpi was an empiricist: "There are four modes of philosophizing: the first with reason alone, the 
second with sense alone, the third with reason and then sense, and the fourth beginning with sense 
and ending with reason. The first is the worst, because from it we know what we would like to be, 
not what is. The third is bad because we many times distort what is into what we would like, 
rather than adjusting what we would like to what is. The second is true but crude, permitting us to 
know little and that rather of things than of their causes. The fourth is the best we can have in this 
miserable life." ("Scritti filosofici e teologici," Bari: Laterza, 1951, Pensiero 146) That is Francis 
Bacon's inductive method. Bacon's ideas about inductive method were taken from the "Arte di 
ben pensare" and other Sarpi writings. 

For Sarpi, experience means the perception of physical objects by the senses. For Sarpi there are 
no true universals: "Essence and universality are works of the mind," he wrote disparagingly. 
[Pensiero 371] Sarpi was brought up on Duns Scotus and William of Ockham. Sarpi was also a 
pragmatist, arguing that "we despise knowledge of things of which we have no need." [Pensiero 
289] Sarpi was also a cultural relativist, and a precursor of David Hume: Every culture has its 
own idea of order, he said, and "therefore the republics, the buildings, the politics of the Tartars 
and the Indians are different." [Pensiero 159]. 

With Paolo Paruta, we already have the economic man enshrined in the myths of Adam Smith: 
"The desire to grow rich is as natural in us as the desire to live. Nature provides the brute animals 
with the things necessary for their lives; but in man, whom it makes poor, naked, and subject to 
many needs, it inserts this desire for riches and gives him intelligence and industry to acquire 
them." [Bouwsma, p. 21 1] A speaker in Paruta's dialogues expresses the views of the 
Physiocrats, saying that wealth derived from farming and grazing is "more true and natural" than 
other forms. [Bouwsma, p. 212] 

Paruta's treatment of the fall of the Roman empire appears to be the starting point for Gibbon: 
"This stupendous apparatus, constructed over a long course of years through the great virtue and 
the many exertions of so many valorous men, had finally run the course common to human things, 
that is to be dissolved and to fall to earth; and with its ruin it brought on the greatest revolution in 
things." [Bouwsma, p. 283] 

In religion, Sarpi and his right-hand man, Fulgenzio Micanzio, were very much Spirituali on the ex 
sola fede line of justification. A papal nuncio assigned to surveil the two wrote that Fulgenzio 



"greatly exalts faith in the blood of Christ and the grace of God for our salvation, and leaves out 
or rarely refers to works." [Bouwsma, p. 498] 

Sarpi sounds very much like Bacon, Hobbes, Locke, and Hume. This is no surprise, since Sarpi 
and Micanzio were in close contact with Hobbes and Bacon, sometimes directly, and sometimes 
through the intermediary of William Cavendish, Earl of Devonshire, a friend of Francis Bacon and 
the employer of Thomas Hobbes. Bacon was of course a raving irrationalist, a Venetian-style 
Rosicrucian, and a bugger. Cavendish may have introduced Bacon to Hobbes, who soon became a 
couple. In Chatsworth House in Cornwall there is a manuscript entitled "Hobbes' Translations of 
Italian Letters," containing 77 missives from Micanzio to the Earl (called "Candiscio"). According 
to Dudley Carleton, Cavendish visited Venice and Padova in September 1614, accompanied by 
Hobbes. At that time meetings with Sarpi and Micanzio would have been on the agenda. [De 
Mas, p. 155] 

VENICE AND ENGLAND 

The contacts between Venice and England during the period around 1600 were so dense as to 
constitute an "Anglo -Venetian coalition," as Enrico De Mas asserts. The son of the Venetian 
agent William Cecil (Bacon's uncle) was Robert Cecil, who visited Venice shortly after 1600. 
Bacon himself was attorney general and lord chancellor for King James I. English ambassadors 
like Dudley Carleton and Sir Henry Wotton were also important intermediaries. Bacon was also in 
frequent contact by letter with the Venetian senator and patrician Domenico Molino. Bacon knew 
Italian because his mother had been active as the translator of the writings of Italian heretics. [De 
Mas, p. 156] Fulgenzio Micanzio was literary agent for Bacon in Venice, arranging for the 
translation and publication of his writings. One letter in Latin from Bacon to Micanzio has been 
located; here Bacon discusses a plan for a Latin edition of his complete works. Another translator 
of Bacon was the Archbishop of Spalato and Venetian agent Marcantonio de Dominis, who 
turned against Rome and stayed for some time as an honored guest of the English court before 
returning to Rome. There was a Bacon cult among the Venetian nobility in those years, and 
Venice led all Italian cities in the number of editions of Bacon's works. 

As for Sarpi, his "History of the Council of Trent" was first published in English in London in an 
edition dedicated to King James I, and translated by Nathaniel Brent. 

Towards the end of the sixteenth century, Spain was showing signs of economic decline, and was 
attempting to retrench on her military commitments. Spain made peace with France in 1598, with 
England in 1604, and, after decades of warfare, began to negotiate with the Dutch. Spain also 
started peace talks with the Ottoman Empire. The Venice of the Giovani was horrified by the 
apparent winding down of the wars of religion. Especially the Spanish truce with the Dutch was 
viewed with alarm by the Venetians, since this would free up veteran Spanish troops who could 
be used in a war against Venice. After taking over Venice in 1582, the Giovani had favored a 
more aggressive policy against the papacy and the Hapsburgs. After 1600, Venice passed laws 
that made it harder for the church to own Venetian land and dispose of it; this was followed by 
the arrest of two priests by the civil authorities. Pope Paul V Borghese responded on profile by 
declaring Venice under the papal interdict, which remained in force for almost a year, well into 
1607. 



The use of the papal interdict against a nominally Catholic country caused a sensation in the 
Protestant world, where tremendous sympathy for Venice was generated by an avalanche of 
propaganda writings, above all those of Sarpi himself. The Jesuit Bellarmine and others wrote for 
the papacy in this pamphlet war. Bellarmine puffed the pope as the arbiter mundi, the court of last 
resort in world affairs. Sarpi, who was an official of the Venetian regime, soon became the idol of 
the libertines and freethinkers everywhere, and was soon one of the most famous and most 
controversial persons in Europe. In the end, the Vatican was obliged to remove the interdict 
without securing any expression of penitence or regret; the Venetian government released the two 
clerics to a French cardinal who had undertaken a mediation, and the French gave the clerics back 
to the pope. Lutherans and Calvinists cheered Venice, which appeared to have checked the 
inexorable advance of the Counter-Reformation. Much was made of national sovereignty, which 
the Venetians said they were defending against the pope in the name of all nations. 
VENICE AND JAMES I 

French Gallicans and Huguenots, and Swiss and Dutch Calvinists were for Venice, but none 
supported Venice more than the degenerate King of England, James I. James was the pedantic 
pederast who claimed that he got his divine right directly from God, and not by way of the pope. 
James was delighted with Sarpi's arguments, and with their seeming victory. Venice, by asserting 
an independent Catholic Church under state control during the interdict, also appeared to be 
following the example of Henry VIII and the Anglican (or Anglo -Catholic) Church. 

Sir Henry Wotton advanced the idea of a Protestant alliance encompassing England, Venice, the 
Grisons (the Graubuenden or Gray league of the Valtellina region in the Swiss Alps, sought by 
Spain as a land route between Austria and Milan), Holland, and the Protestant princes of 
Germany. The former Calvinist King Henry IV of France might be won for such a league, some 
thought. The Doge Leonardo Dona of the Giovani group even threatened indirectly to lead 
Venice into apostasy and heresy. "You must warn the Pope not to drive us into despair," he told 
the papal nuncio, "because we would then act like desperate men!" Sir Henry Wotton took this 
literally, and included in his alliance proposals plans to get Venice to go Protestant. He forwarded 
this to London where it was marked in the margin "The Project of Venice, 1608? by Robert Cecil. 
This was the Cecil who, as David Cherry has shown, staged Guy Fawkes' Gunpowder Plot, an 
alleged Catholic attempt to blow up the king and the Houses of Parliament, in order to guarantee 
that James would be suitably hostile to Rome and Spain. The project included a plan for James to 
become the supreme commander of the Protestant world in a war against the pope. This was 
clearly a line that Sarpi and company sought to feed to the megalomaniac James I. As part of the 
scheme, Charles Diodati, one of the Italian Spirituali who had fled to Geneva, was brought to 
Venice to preach. But later Sarpi and the Venetians found reason to be bitterly disappointed with 
the refusal of James I and Charles I massively to intervene on the European continent. 

During this period, according to one account, an emissary of the Elector of the Palatinate reported 
that he had been taken by the English ambassador to Venice to visit a Calvinist Congregation of 
more than 1,000 people in Venice, including 300 of the top patricians, of which Sarpi was the 
leader. Sarpi invited the German Protestants to come to the aid of Venice in case of war, for in 
defending Venetian territory they would be helping the Protestant cause as well. ["Scelte Lettere 
Inedite di Fra Paolo Sarpi," Capolago, Canton Ticino: Tipografia e Libreria Elvetica, 1833, pp. 



cxi-cxii] 

THE ROOTS OF WAR 



In reality, the Venetians used the conflict around the Interdict to inflame the religious passions of 
Europe so as to set the stage for a revival of the wars of religion. The seventeenth century would 
thus repeat the hecatomb of the sixteenth on an even vaster scale. The Venetian gambit of a clash 
with the Vatican set the stage for the Thirty Years' War. 

The grand design Sarpi peddled to Protestants called for an apocalyptic war between Catholics 
and Protestants with the latter led by James I and the Dutch United Provinces. In a battle between 
Venice and the papal states, foreign Protestant armies would fight on Venetian soil, making 
possible the religious conversion of the terra ferma (Bergamo, Brescia, Verona, Vicenza, etc.) to 
some sort of Calvinism. [Cozzi, pp. 265-68] At a deeper level, Venice wanted a catastrophic 
general war in Europe from which Venice could hold aloof, thus surviving at least until the 
process of the metastasis of the fondi into northern Europe could be completed - until the time, 
say, of the founding of the Bank of England at the end of the 1600s. Beyond that, the oligarchs 
would seek to preserve the Rialto as a cultural and ideological center. But the survival of the 
withered mummy of Venice for a century or two would be possible only if all the other European 
powers were thoroughly devastated. 

It is remarkable to observe how many of the key protagonists who detonated the Thirty Years' 
War can be identified as Venetian agents. 

During the Interdict battle, Sarpi's intelligence agencies went into action to create the 
preconditions for such a war, not in Italy, but beyond the Alps in Germany. The first step was to 
organize Germany into two armed camps, similar to the pre-1914 or post- 1945 European military 
blocs. First came the creation of the Protestant Union of 1608, helped by the crushing of the free 
city of Donauwoerth by the counter- reformation under Maximilian I of Bavaria. The Protestant 
Union was organized by Prince Christian of Anhalt, the senior advisor to the Elector Palatine. 
Christian of Anhalt was a vital node of Paolo Sarpi's network, and in the 1870?s the Archives of 
the German city of Bernberg contained a correspondence between Christian and Sarpi. [Julius 
Krebs, p. 45] 

When Christian von Anhalt created the Protestant Union, he sent one Christoph von Dona (or 
Dohna) to talk to Sarpi in Venice about the entry of Venice into this alliance. Christoph von Dona 
and his brother Achatius von Dona kept up a correspondence with Paolo Sarpi in their own right 
[Cozzi, p. 245, 258]. In August 1608, Christoph von Dona met with Sarpi in Venice, and Sarpi 
told Dona about the measures taken by the Giovani in 1582 to "correct" the functions of the 
Council of Ten and its subcommittee of three (Zonta), which up until that time had constituted a 
factional stronghold of the adversaries of the Giovani, who were called the Vecchi (old) and who 
favored a more conciliatory line towards Spain and the papacy. The Ten had been accused, Sarpi 
told Christoph von Dona, of being arrogant, and of usurping the main functions of the 
government, including foreign policy, from the senate, or Pregadi. 

The Venetian diplomatic corps was mobilized to exploit the Interdict to create the Protestant 



Union. The papal nuncio in Paris reported on March 3, 1609 to Pope Paul V on the activities of 
the Venetian ambassador, Antonio Foscarini, a close associate of Sarpi: "From the first day that 
he came here, he has always comported himself in the same way: His most confidential dealings 
are with the agents of various German Protestants, with the Dutch, with the English ambassador 
and with two or three French Huguenots, who can be considered his house guests. His business 
has been to attempt to impede in any way possible any peace or truce in Flanders. . . . In addition to 
these fine projects, he has been in a big rush to set up this league of Protestants in Germany, and 
although he has not been able to do much in this direction, in any case I am sure that if he can 
contribute to this, he'll do it." [Federico Seneca, "La Politica Veneziana Dopo L'Interdetto," 
Padova, 1957., pp. 21-22] 

Within a year of the creation of the Protestant Union in 1608, a Catholic League was formed 
under the aegis of Maximilian of Bavaria with Spanish support. The conflagration was set. 

Academic accounts of the Thirty Years' War often stress the conflict over the succession in 
Juelich-Cleves (around Duesseldorf) after 1609, which embroiled the Dutch and the Protestants 
against the imperial Catholics. Some accounts portray Henry IV of France as eager to attack the 
Hapsburgs in Milan and on the Rhine during 1610, just before Henry IV was assassinated by the 
alleged Catholic fanatic Ravaillac, who accused Henry IV of being a threat to the Catholic 
Church. According to other accounts, Henry IV "had decided to reveal to the pope and to the 
Venetian Republic what was being plotted in Venice by Sarpi, or at least by those who were 
moving around him." [Cozzi, p. 257] 

From Venice, Giovanni Diodati wrote to his friend Philippe Duplessis Mornay telling him of the 
"petite eglise reformee" (small reformed church) there. Diodati added that "the English minister 
and ambassador [William Bedell, Wotton's secretary] has been very helpful." This letter was 
intercepted by Henry IV of France, who passed it to the papal nuncio, who sent it on to Rome and 
to the Venetian government. Sarpi was soon aware of what had happened. Writing to Christoph 
von Dohna on 29 September 1608, Sarpi complained, "The King of France has written that 
Venice is in favor of religion, and he has played a very bad role." "How did it happen that that 
great principle was put to sleep?" he wrote to another correspondent that summer, referring to the 
French mediation of the Interdict crisis; "That is also the reason why it is impossible to incite 
others." [Cozzi, p. 259] 

Sarpi's animus against Henry IV suggests that the superficial explanation of Henry's assassination 
in 1610 may not be the correct one. In any case, Henry's death increased the tensions among the 
German Protestant leaders, since they had now been deprived of their protector. Henry's death 
meant that France, a power Venice ultimately hated and feared just as much as Spain, would be 
plunged again into the internal conflicts epitomized by the St. Bartholomew's massacre of 20,000 
Huguenots in 1572; Pope Gregory XIII had called those killings "more agreeable than fifty 
Lepantos." [R.R. Palmer, p. 106] In the 1600s this civil strife was called the Fronde, and it would 
be decades before the Fronde was suppressed to the point that France was capable of international 
action once again. 
THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR 



In 1615, the Venetians started a border war with Austria, called the Guerra Arciducale. This was 
the signal that something big was coming. The Austrian Hapsburgs, in order to defend their 
frontier with the Ottoman Empire, employed a force of refugees from the Balkans called uzkoks 
(the Serbian word for refugees). Uzkoks settled in Segna and some other ports of the eastern 
Adriatic where they operated as corsairs against Turkish shipping, and also against the Venetians. 
The uzkoks, through their depredations and through the cost of measures undertaken against 
them, were depleting the Venetian treasury. So in December 1615, Venetian land forces crossed 
the Isonzo River and laid siege to Gradisca. Count John Ernest of Nassau- Siegen raised forces 
totaling 5,000 men in the Dutch Republic to assist the Venetians; ten English and twelve Dutch 
warships maintained a blockade of the Adriatic against any ships from Spain or Naples which 
might have sought to aid their Austrian Hapsburg allies. But Spanish forces did reach the front, 
forcing the Venetians to accept a negotiated peace. 

A recent study highlights the significance of this Venetian-staged conflict in the runup to the 
general conflagration: "The uzkok war was one of the more bizarre episodes of the earlier 
seventeenth century, yet it offered an alarming example of how a minor political conflict in a 
remote corner of Europe could threaten to engulf the whole continent with war. . . . The uzkok 
war, although apparently minor, was important because it brought a general European conflict 
perceptibly nearer. On the diplomatic plane, it cemented or occasioned alliances that favored 
aggression." [ Parker, pp. 40, 42] 

In the spring of 1618, executions in Venice were attributed to the discovery by the Council of Ten 
of an alleged Spanish plot to overthrow the Venetian regime. Some skeptical historians consider 
that this was a cover story for a Venetian intrigue in which the Spanish governor of Naples, 
Osuna, was to declare himself independent under Venetian auspices. [Carl J. Friedrichs, p. 151] 

The immediate detonator for the Thirty Years' War is usually considered to be the revolt of the 
Bohemian nobles against the new Hapsburg Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II, who was also the 
King of Bohemia. Under Rudolph II, the previous emperor, the Bohemian nobles had been 
granted the Letter of Majesty of 1609 which guaranteed them their religious self-determination 
(ignoring the cuius regio eius religio) and the right to elect their own king. The Bohemians, many 
of whom were Calvinists, Hussites, and Utraquists, feared that Ferdinand would introduce the 
militant Counter- Reformation into Bohemia. There followed the celebrated defenestration of 
Prague of 1618, in which two representatives of Ferdinand were thrown out of the window by a 
group of Bohemian nobles organized by the Count of Thurn. When Ferdinand sent troops to 
restore his authority, the Bohemian nobles deposed him and decided to elect a new king. They 
chose Frederick V, the Elector Palatine, who had his court in Heidelberg, and who, as we have 
seen, counted Christian von Anhalt and Christoph von Dona among his most trusted advisers. 
When the Electoral Palatine, now styling himself King Frederick of Bohemia, was routed at the 
battle of the White Mountain in 1620, he went into the history books as the "unlucky Winter 
King." Let us attempt further to reveal the fine Venetian hand behind these events, which are the 
opening rounds of the Thirty Years' War. 

The key figure among the Bohemians is the Count Heinrich Mathias of Thurn- Valsassina 
(1567-1633). This is the senior branch of the family, originally from Venetian territory, which is 



otherwise known as della Torre, Torre e Tasso, and later as Thurn und Taxis. Thurn's parents had 
become Protestants, but he entered the imperial army and fought during a campaign against the 
Ottoman Empire. As a reward he had gotten the important post of Burggraf of Marlstein in 
Bohemia. Here Thurn built a base among the local nobility, including especially the branch of the 
Hussites known as the Utraquists. His announced program was the maintenance of Bohemian 
liberties for these nobles. Heinrich Mathias von Thurn demanded and got the Letter of Majesty, 
which soon turned into the apple of Bohemian discord. He was named to a special committee of 
30 Defenders of the Faith in Prague. He was vehemently opposed to the election of Ferdinand as 
Holy Roman Emperor, and Ferdinand responded by attempting to oust Thurn as Burggraf, within 
the framework of other anti-Protestant measures. Thurn then incited the Bohemians to rebel, and 
this led directly to the defenestration of Prague of May 23, 1618. In the face of Ferdinand's 
military response, Thurn was made the commander of the Bohemian armed forces. He had 
captured some of the suburbs of Vienna when he was forced to retreat. During the campaign 
leading up to the rout at the White Mountain, Thurn was constantly disputing with the Palatine 
Elector's generals about who was in command. After the rout, he made his career as a general in 
later phases of the war. [Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich, XLV, pp. 104-06] 

Finally, let us look at Frederick V the Elector Palatine himself. The future Winter King, a 
Calvinist, had married Elizabeth, the daughter of King James I of England, and the English 
presence at the Palatine court in Heidelberg was associated with the same sorts of cultist kookery 
we have observed in the cases of Zorzi and Bacon. Rosicrucians in particular were heavily present 
at the electoral Palatine court. One of them was the English irrationalist and freemason Robert 
Fludd, whose lengthy treatise on universal harmony, the "Utriusque cosmi historia" was published 
on the Palatine city of Oppenheim in 1617-19. During the course of the Thirty Years' War, after 
Frederick had been deposed by the Catholic forces, parts of the Heidelberg library, the Bibliotheca 
Palatina, were confiscated by the Inquisition and moved to Rome. [Yates, pp. 169-171] Frederick 
was not the only one infected by the Rosicrucian bacillus in these years in which the saga of 
"Christian Rosenkreuz" first appeared in Germany. One of Fludd's friends was a certain German 
Rosicrucian alchemist named Michael Maier, who was reputed to be close to the Hapsburg 
Emperor Rudolph II. [See Serge Hutin, "Histoire des Rose-Croix," p. 125] 

Such Venetian-Rosicrucian irrationalism may provide the key to the Winter King's legendary 
mental lability and failures of strategic planning. We must also remember that the Elector was 
constantly controlled and advised by Sarpi's friends Christian von Anhalt and Christoph von 
Dona. Christian was notorious for his adventurism and brinksmanship; one German account of 
these events speaks of 'Anhalt's crazy plans" [ADB]; these included the ambitious project of 
wiping out the House of Hapsburg and making Frederick Holy Roman Emperor, a thoroughly 
Utopian undertaking. Frederick V was encouraged to believe that with the aid of a few troops 
from Venetian-allied Savoy, plus the Bohemians, and support from a few other German states, he 
could break the Spanish- Austrian- Catholic hold on central Europe. 

In August- September 1619, Frederick vacillated over whether or not to accept the Bohemian 
crown offered to him by Thurn and his cohorts. Bohemia was prime Hapsburg territory, and it 
was clear that Frederick could not keep Prague without some serious fighting. Some advisers 
wrote position papers for Frederick warning him not to take the crown, saying that "acceptance 



would begin a general religious war." [Parker, p. 55] But Christian von Anhalt and his friend 
Camerarius answered that such a war was inevitable anyway as soon as the twelve years' truce 
between the Spanish and the Dutch ran out. The Sarpi networks were fully mobilized; Dudley 
Carleton, the Anglo- Venetian representative of James I in the Hague, wrote in September 1619 
that "this business in Bohemia is like to put all Christendom into combustion." 

Frederick accepted the Bohemian crown, rushed to Prague, and then found himself in a hopelessly 
exposed position. After the White Mountain, he never stopped retreating; he failed to rally the 
Palatinate for a war of self-defense, and was permanently ousted. The death of Gustavus 
Adolphus some years later closed the books on Frederick V's hopes of being restored in the 
Palatinate. 

The Thirty Years' War, which extirpated about half of the population of Germany between 1618 
and 1648, is thus exposed as a piece of Utopian- geopolitical tinkering from the satanic cell around 
Fra Paolo Sarpi. 
MORE ON BACON 

Even after he was ousted from all his court posts in the wake of confessed bribery and corruption, 
Francis Bacon remained a loyal Venetian agent. In about 1624, Bacon addressed a memorandum 
to the new King Charles I in which he urged that England declare war on Spain in order to help 
restore the Elector Palatine (and Charles's sister) in Heidelberg. The alliance proposed by Bacon 
was to include new variations on the usual Paoli Sarpi constellation: France, Navarre, Naples, 
Milan, Grisons, Savoy, Bavaria, the Protestant leader Gabor of Transylvania, and now even 
Persia, which was attempting to seize the straits of Hormuz. Bacon stressed the Venetian 
contribution: "It is within every man's observation also that Venice doth think their state almost 
unfixed if the Spaniards hold the Valtoline." [Bacon, Considerations Touching a War...] 

Sarpi had many English admirers; one was Izaak Walton, the author of the famous "Compleat 
Angler." Another was John Milton, who had repeated praise for Fra Paolo. Milton called Sarpi 
"Padre Paolo the great unmasker of the Tridentine Council," "Padre Paolo the great Venetian 
antagonist of the Pope," and "the great and learned Padre Paolo." Indeed, a whole passage in 
Milton's famous "Areopagitica," the one dealing with the Council of Trent, closely follows 
Sarpi's account. 

Ludwig Dehio and other historians have pointed out that the characteristic Venetian methods of 
strategy were also typical of the later English and British colonialism. It was the Venetian asset 
and architect of the English religious schism, Thomas Cromwell, who wrote, "this realm of 
England is an empire." Gaining strength under James I, the Venetian party acted out its imperialist 
impulse during the Stuart and Cromwell periods, and most obviously under the post- 1688 
oligarchical system. [See Graham Lowry, "How the Nation was Won"] Thus it is that the 
Venetian methods that were used deliberately to provoke the wars of religion of the sixteenth 
century, and later the Thirty Years' War itself, can be discerned in the global strategic 
commitments of today's British oligarchy tending to unleash a global cataclysm, a bellum omnium 
contra omnes (war of each against all) which no nation and no people could seriously hope to 
survive. 



The ascendancy of Venice after 1200 was instrumental in precipitating the near-collapse of 
European civilization between about 1250 and 1400. Later, the combined effect of the Venice- 
sponsored Protestant Reformation and the Venice- sponsored Counter- Reformation was to visit 
upon Europe the renewed horrors of 1520-1648, to which the British historian Trevor-Roper has 
referred under the heading of the "little Dark Age." Today the shadows of another such nightmare 
epoch lengthen over the ruined economies, gutted cities and ethnic conflicts of the late twentieth 
century. Those wishing to survive must learn to defend themselves from the Anglo -Venetian 
hecatomb now looming. 
BIBLIOGRAPHY 

See the published and unpublished works of Al and Rachel Douglas, Graham Lowry, David 
Cherry, and Pietro Cicconi. 

Eugenio Alberi (ed.), "Le Relazioni degli ambasciatori veneti al Senato durante il secolo 
decimosesto" (Firenze, 1853). 

'Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie" (Leipzig, 1876), for Christian von Anhalt and Frederick V 
Elector of the Palatinate. 

Aurelius Augustinus, "On Faith and Works," ed. Gregory J. Lombado (New York: Newman 
Press, 1988). 

Aurelius Augustinus, "The Teacher, Thre Free Choice of the Will, Grace and Free Will," trans, by 
Robert P. Russell (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1968). 

Theobald Beer, "Der Froeliche Wechsel und Streit" (Einsiedeln: Johannes Verlag, 1980). 

"Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums" (Vienna, 1882). 

Bouwsma, "Venice and the Defense of Republican Liberty" (Berkeley, 1968). 

Horatio Brown, "The Venetian Republic" (London, 1902). 

"Concilium Tridentinum" (Freiburg im Breisgau, 1901). 

Cozzi, "Paolo Sarpi fra Venezia e l'Europa" (Torino, Einaudi, 1978). 

"Dictionary of National Biography" (London, 1921). 

Franz Dittrich, "Gasparo Contarini 1483-1542? (Nieuwkoop, 1972). 

Stephan Ehses, "Der Reformentwurf des Kardinals Nikolaus Cusanus," in "Historisches 
Jahrbuch," XXXII, 1911, pp. 274-97. 

Enrico De Mas, "Sovranita' politica e unita' cristiana nel seicento anglo-veneto" (Ravenna, 1975). 



Dermot Fenlon, "Heresy and Obedience in Tridentine Italy: Cardinal Pole and the Counter 
Reformation" (Cambridge University Press, 1972). 

Walter Friedensburg (ed.), "Nuntiaturen des Vergerio 1533-1536," volume 1 of 
"Nuntiaturberichte aus Deutschland 1533-1559? (Gotha, 1892; Frankfurt 1968). 

Carl J. Friedrich, "The Age of the Baroque" (New York, 1952). 

Felix Gilbert, "The Pope, His Banker, and Venice" (Cambridge, Mass., 1980). 

Felix Gilbert, "Religion and Politics in the Thought of Gasparo Contarini," in "History: Choice 
and Commitment" (Cambridge, Mass., 1977). 

Karl Gillert (ed.), "Der Briefwechsel des Conradus Mutianus" in "Geschichtsquellen der Provinz 
Sachsen" (Halle, 1890). 

Hartmann Grisar, "Luther" (London, 1913-17). 

H.G. Haile, Luther: "An Experiment in Biography" (New York: Doubleday, 1980. 

Rudolph Haubst, "Der Reformentwurf Pius des Zweiten," in "Roemische Quartalschrift," XL VIII 
(1953), pp. 188-242. 

Irmgard Hoess, "Georg Spalatin 1484-1545? (Weimar, 1956). 
Serge Huttin, "Histoire des Rose-Croix" (Paris, 1971). 
"Index Librorum Prohibitorum" (Venice, 1564). 

Hubert Jedin, "Ein 'Thurmerlebnis' des Jungen Contarini," "Historisches Jahrbuch" LXX 
(Munich-Freiburg, 1951), pp. 115 ff. See also Hubert Jedin, "II contribut veneziano alia riforma 
cattolica," in "La civilta' veneziana del rinascimento." 

Julius Krebs, "Christian von Anhalt und die Kurpfaelzische Politik am Beginn des 
Dreissigjaehrigen Krieges" (Leipzig, 1872). 

John Leon Lievsay, "Venetian Phoenix: Paolo Sarpi and Some of his English Friends 
(1606-1700)" (Wichita, Kansas, 1973). 

Peter Matheson, "Cardinal Contarini at Regensburg" (Oxford, 1972). 
R.R. Palmer, "A History of the Modern World" (New York, 1961). 
Geoffrey Parker, "The Thirty Years' War" (London and New York, 1984). 



Ludwig Pastor, "Geschichte der Paepste" (Freiburg imBreisgau, 1904). 

Pius II, "The Commentaries," Smith College Studies in History, October 1939 fF. 

Reginald Pole, "Epistolae " (Farnborough, 1967). 

Reginald Pole, "Pole's Defense of the Unity of the Church ," ed. Joseph Dwyer ( Maryland, 
1965). 

Cecil Roth, "The Jews in the Renaissance" (Philadelphia, 1959) and "A History of the Jews in 
England" (Oxford, 1964). 

Paolo Sarpi, "Scelte lettere inedite" (Capolago, Canton Ticino, Switzerland, 1833). 
Fra Paolo Sarpi, "Scritti Filosofici e Teologici" (Bari: Laterza, 1951). 

Joseph Schnitzer, "Peter Delphin General des Camaldulenserordens 1444-1525? (Munich, 1926). 

Anne Jacobsen Schutte, "Pier Paolo Vergerio: The Making of an Italian Reformer" (Geneva, 
1977). 

Federico Seneca, "La Politica Veneziana lTnterdetto" (Padova, 1957). 

Antonio Socci and Tommaso Ricci, "Luther: Manichean Delirium," in "30 Days," 1992, II, pp. 
54-61. 

Elmar Weiss, "Die Unterstuetzung Friedrichs V. von der Pflaz durch Jacob I. und Karl I. von 
England im Dreissigjaehrigen Krieg 1618-1632? (Stuttgart, 1966). 

Frances A. Yates, "Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age" (London, 1979), and "The 
Rosicrucian Enlightenment" (London, 1972). 

Giammaria Ortes: The Decadent Venetian Kook Who Originated The Myth of "Carrying 
Capacity" 

rinted in The American Almanac, June 20, 1994 

During their preparations for the United Nations' so-called International Conference on 
Population and Development, scheduled to be held in Cairo in September of this year, the 
genocidal bureaucrats of the U.N. are seeking to condition governments and public opinion 
worldwide to accept the notion of a "carrying capacity" for our planet. In other words, the U.N. 
butchers would like to establish scientific credibility for the idea that there is an absolute 
theoretical maximum number of persons the earth can support. Some preliminary documents for 
the Cairo conference set a world population level of 7.27 billion to be imposed for the year 2050, 
using compulsory abortion, sterilization, euthanasia and other grisly means. It is clear that the 
U.N. and its oligarchical supporters seek to exterminate population groups in excess of the limit. 



Academic kooks like David Pimentel of Cornell University argue that the earth's carrying capacity 
is even lower, and claim that their studies show the need to cut world population down to 2 
billion, the "optimum human population" of "number of people the planet can comfortably 
support." 

But where does the idea of "carrying capacity" come from? Is there any scientific basis for 
attempting to posit any limit for the human family? There is none whatsoever. An examination of 
the history of the "carrying capacity" argument reveals that it originated as one of the 
epistemological weapons of the dying Venetian Republic during the late eighteenth century-that 
is, of one of the most putrid, decadent, and moribund oligarchical societies the world has ever 
known. The originator of the "carrying capacity" argument was Giammaria Ortes, a defrocked 
Camaldolese monk and libertine, who in 1790, in the last year of his life, published the raving tract 
Reflections on the Population of Nations in Relation to National Economy. Here Ortes set the 
unalterable upper limit for the world's human population at 3 billion. 

Ortes (1713-1790) was a Venetian charlatan and mountebank, and his "population possible to 
subsist on all the earth" has long since been exceeded and today has been doubled. Ortes was one 
of the most important ideologues of the Venetian oligarchy in its final phase. Many current 
proponents of U.N. -sponsored genocide would identify themselves as followers of Parson 
Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834), the author of the infamous "Essay on the Principle of 
Population," which was published in 1798. But all of Malthus's argument is already contained in a 
more explicit form in the writings of Ortes. In fact, in the entire school of British Philosophical 
Radicalism after the time of the American Revolution-including Malthus, Jeremy Bentham 
(1748-1732), James Mill (1773-1836) and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), there is virtually nothing 
that cannot already be found in Ortes. The British empiricists were, as usual, obliged slavishly to 
plagiarize their decadent Venetian originals. 

VENICE AND ORTES 

Venice during the eighteenth century was on the surface a state of almost total impotence. During 
the first part of the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713), Venetian territory was repeatedly 
violated by the contending French and Hapsburg armies, and the Venetians were powerless to do 
more than protest. At the same time, British and Dutch naval vessels operated freely in the 
northern Adriatic, which once had been a jealously guarded preserve of the Venetians. After a last 
war with the Ottoman Empire, which by now was also collapsing, the Venetians signed the Treaty 
of Passarowitz with the Ottomans in 1718. After this, Venice followed a policy of neutralism, 
pacifism, and anti-militarism with slogans strikingly similar to the peace movements of the 
twentieth century; Ortes wrote that military service was always servitude. 

From Passarowitz until the liquidation of the Venetian Republic by Napoleon's invasion and the 
Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797, with which Austria absorbed Venice, the Serenissima was able 
to spin out an "end of history," with the oligarchy drawing its income from landed estates on the 
Italian mainland, tourism, and the service sector, including pimps, prostitutes, gigolos, and other 
parasites. Although more and more of the nobility was impoverished, the few dozen families who 
were not were among the very richest in Europe. And while Venice had no army at all and no 



navy to speak of, its secret intelligence agencies and diplomats were among the most active and 
effective in all of Europe. 

By the time of Ortes, the oligarchical cancer that was Venice had largely metastasized to the City 
of London and the new British Empire. The center of the Venetian Party worldwide was now no 
longer in the Rialto, but between Westminster and St. Paul's, and the English countryside was 
filling up with Georgian copies of the Venetian architect Palladio. But in many areas of intrigue 
and manipulation, the Venetians of Rialto remained unequaled. 

So the general direction of Venetian intelligence operations was to act in support of the British 
Empire, especially by weakening France and the economic school of Colbert. A second axis of 
Venetian attack was to undercut the influence of the German scientist and philosopher Leibniz, 
while attempting-as always-to envelop and destroy any and all positive figures in art, music, 
science and intellectual life. In the process, the Venetians found ways to express their own 
devotion to absolute, satanic evil. Among the Venetian assets devoted to these activities we find 
such figures as Giacomo Casanova, Count Cagliostro (Giuseppe Balsamo), and the economist 
Giammaria Ortes. 

The general outlines of the life of Ortes are these: He was born in Venice in 1713 into a family of 
well-off artisans involved in the production of glass pearls. Ortes had three brothers and two 
sisters all of whom, like Giammaria, chose holy orders and the religious life. In November of 
1727, Giammaria Ortes entered the Camoldolese monastery of San Mattia on the island of 
Murano in the lagoon. Here he studied philosophy "with the Cartesian method" and was found to 
be of phlegmatic temperament. 

In 1734, Ortes left Murano and became a student at the University of Pisa in a different country, 
the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Here his professor was the Camoldolese Abbot Guido Grandi, who 
taught philosophy and mathematics. Grandi was the editor of Galileo's works. Although the work 
of Galileo had been condemned by the Roman Catholic Church and would stay condemned until 
1757, Grandi was already teaching a mixture of Galileo and the more recent views of the British 
charlatan and magician Sir Isaac Newton. From Grandi Ortes tells us he learned to think "with the 
geometrical method." What Ortes means by this is that he was inspired to attempt the Newtonian 
or quantitative formal-arithmetical analysis of human affairs, including history, economics, and 
population. This completed the consolidation of Ortes as an arithmomaniac, a firm believer in the 
absurd propisition that everything that matters can be reduced to a column of figures. 

When Ortes returned to Venice in 1738, he entered the monastery of S. Giovanni della Giudecca, 
where he also began to study law. He says he began to doubt the validity of contracts, including 
his own monastic vows. Now, after 15 years as a monk, he got his vows nullified and returned to 
his family home. Living in leisure with the help of his father's modest income, he set to work on 
the biography of Grandi, which was his first book, published in 1744. From this point on, Ortes 
retained only the religious title of abate or abbe. This title should suggest to no one that Ortes was 
some kind of holy man: During this same period, in 1741, the notorious adventurer Casanova was 
admitted to the four minor orders of the Church and thus also qualified as an abbe. 



ORTES AND THE VENETIAN OLIGARCHY 



During these years, Ortes became closely associated with one of the most important salons or 
ridotti of the Venetian aristocracy. This grouping, which was at its height during the period 
1740-1760, called itself the "conversazione filosofica e felice" ("philosophical and happy 
conversation group"). This was a Venetian salon in the tradition of the "ridotto Morosini" of the 
second half of the sixteenth century, out of which had come Galileo, Paolo Sarpi, and the 
Venetian orchestration of the Thirty Years' War. 

The "conversazione filosofica e felice" was the ideological arm of a closely allied group of 
Venetian oligarchical families. These included the Labia, the Memmo, the Nani, the Vezzi, the 
Emo, the Querini, the Conti, the Erizzo, the Mocenigo, and the Giustinian. Sometimes the salon 
would meet at the palace of the Emo in Venice, and sometimes at the summer home of the Labia, 
where Ortes usually went on vacation. Some of those who frequented this salon: 

* Alvise Zuanne Mocenigo, who frequented the conversazione, was a Procurator of Saint 
Mark's basilica, and thus an administrator of the centralized investment fund of Venice. Ortes had 
dedicated a poem to Mocenigo when he was made procurator in 1737. Later, in 1763, this 
Mocenigo was elected the third to last doge or ruling duke of Venice. Popular opinion was quick 
to give him the nickname of "the Duchess." A total of three members of the Mocenigo family 
served as doge during the eighteenth century. In 1759, Ortes would contribute a sonnet to the 
marriage celebration of another Mocenigo. 

* The abate Antonio Conti (1677-1749) was a Venetian nobleman who was the most 
celebrated intellectual of the conversazione. In 1715, he visited London and became a close 
personal ally of Sir Isaac Newton, for whom he became an international operative of great 
importance. Conti traveled to Hannover to meet Leibniz and to undertake operations against him 
in court intrigue as well as in epistemology. Conti translated Pope's "Rape of the Lock" into 
Italian, and attracted attention for his 1713 debates with the French philosopher Malebranche. 
Conti was also well known for his pseudo-classical poetry and tragedies on Roman imperial 
themes. 

* The Procurator of St. Mark's Zuanne Emo was one of the leaders of the Venetian aristocracy 
during this time. Emo was one of the leading candidates for the post of doge in 1752, but was 
defeated by Francesco Loredan. 

* Andrea Memmo came from a family of so-called "twelve Apostles" patricians, who were said 
to have participated at the election of the first doge in 697 A.D. Andrea Memmo was one of the 
leading figures of European freemasonry, and was a close personal associate of Casanova. 
Memmo worked with Casanova on Venetian intelligence operations against France during the 
Seven Years' War (1756-1763), when world predominance passed into the hands of the British. If 
Memmo was unquestionably one of the leaders of Venetian foreign intelligence, he also called 
himself a "disciple" of Ortes. Ortes modestly wrote that he "had only been [Memmo's] maestro 
for a few months and only out of friendship," and thanked Memmo late in life for his "old 
friendship" and "modern-day protection." 

* When Ortes published his major work on national economy, he was told that a very high 
official of the Venetian government had greatly praised his labors; this turned out to be Girolamo 
Ascanio Giustinian, a regular of the conversazione. 



* The patrician Giacomo Nani was, like Ortes, obsessed with applying "geometry" to "political 
science." Some of Nani's essays are extant in manuscript at the library of the University of Padua. 
These include "Political Reflections on the Government of Our City" and "Political Essay about 
the Aristocracy of the Republic of Venice for the Year 1756." Nani exudes the historical and 
cultural pessimism that is the hallmark of Ortes. For Nani, "all the ills of our Republic were less 
bad than the remedies." Nani's starting point was the obvious decadence and rottenness of 
Venice. "In a corrupt body," wrote Nani, "everything is converted into evil juices and everything 
becomes bad food." Therefore, Nani thought, "the lesser evil is to leave everything the way it is." 
In other words, no reforms or government actions would ever produce positive results, a point 
repeated obsessively by Ortes. 

In 1752, a Venetian abbe by the name of Milesi congratulated Ortes for "the honor in which he 
was held by the main and most illuminated persons of this Republic." In addition to his friends of 
the conversazione, Ortes had built up his own direct relations with other influential patricians like 
Tomaso Contarini. 

Ortes's friend and ideologue Nani divided the Venetian aristocracy into four parties or classes: 
These were the "signori," or richest nobles; the "poveri," or destitute nobles, and then two 
ideological groupings: the "good or quiet ones" and the "strong and free spirits." The latter two 
were determined by their belief either in quietism or what Nani called "libertinismo." Nani classed 
himself and his friends among the libertines. He said that the libertines really had "a spirit that 
matched that of the Republic" and represented the "real," "original" values of Venice. 

The libertines were a powerful force for the destruction of eighteenth-century European society. 
These were the freemasons, cabalists, hedonists, gamblers, necromancers, alchemists, charlatans, 
and polyvalent procurers who advanced under the banner of Hobbes and Locke, Voltaire and 
Rousseau. The world of the libertines is evoked in Schiller's novel Der Geisterseher. The 
libertines were a social movement especially in France from the days of Montaigne and Bayle 
through the French Revolution; they were the social milieu through which Casanova and 
Cagliostro moved. Libertine networks were an important asset of Venetian intelligence. 

In a letter written by Andrea Memmo to his friend Giuseppe Torelli, Memmo described Ortes as 
"a good Christian, a good man, a philosopher, and totally indifferent" in the sense of being an 
agnostic. According to Ortes scholar Piero del Negro, "good Christian" is underlined in the 
original, as "an indication of the ironic character of the definition." [Piero Del Negro, "Giammaria 
Ortes, il patriziato e la politica di Venezia" in Giammaria Ortes: Un Tilosofo' Veneziano del 
Settecento (Florence: Olschki, 1993), pp. 125-182.] In 1757, a Venetian literary newspaper 
attacked Ortes as being a "physiotheist." In the ensuing affair, Ortes's book, Calculation on the 
Value of Human Opinions, was outlawed by the Venetian censors. On another occasion, an 
attempt by Ortes to get a book published in Bologna was blocked by the censors of the papal 
states. 

These facts about Ortes are important because they undercut the efforts of Ortes himself and of 
his Anglo -Venetian successors to present him as a lonely and eccentric recluse. Towards the end 
of his life Ortes wrote of himself as a man "almost unknown to his own country" who had "very 



few friends and even fewer patrons." But during these same years, Ortes was writing to the 
patrician Fiordelise Labia as her humble servant and to one of the Querini as "my good patron and 
friend." And as we have seen, he always kept in touch with Memmo. 

All his life Ortes was officially celibate. But he was a passionate devotee of the theatre and the 
opera, and corresponded with a number of female singers and actresses. He was also addicted to 
card playing, especially to the popular game of faro. At the end of many of his writings Ortes 
added his motto: "Chi mi sa dir s'io fingo?" This means: "Who can tell me if I am pretending?" 
Those who conclude that Ortes was indeed a faker and a libertine will be on firm ground. 

By contrast, the public profile of Ortes, especially after about 1760, was that of an ultra-clerical 
reactionary. Ortes's first book on economics, his 1771 Popular Errors Concerning National 
Economy is already largely given over to a defense of the prebends and livings of the priesthood 
and the holy orders. This book contains a table in which widespread "errors" are answered by 
"axioms" formulated by Ortes. Error IV reads "The incomes of churchmen are excessive." Axiom 
IV answers: "The incomes of churchmen cannot be excessive." Error V: "The incomes of 
churchmen reduce those of the general population." Axiom V: "The incomes of churchmen 
increase those of the general population." [Errori popolari, p. 17] This recalls Malthus's argument 
that a well-funded state church is necessary to provide the effective demand needed to prevent 
crises of overproduction-an argument summed up in Malthus's creed that a "church with a 
capacious maw is best." 

In 1785, Ortes devoted another book to a defense of ecclesiastical mortmain (called fidecommessi 
or manomorte in Italian), which was under attack by the Venetian government. Mortmain was a 
device used in wills to guarantee that property, especially land, could only be passed on to 
members of the same family or ecclesiastical community, and not otherwise disposed of. 
Anticlerical forces attacked mortmain, but Ortes supported it as necessary for the stability of 
church and state. 

Ortes was also employed by Venetian intelligence as an operative in foreign countries. He went to 
Vienna in 1746, during the War of the Austrian Succession in which France, Prussia, Bavaria, and 
Spain were opposed to Great Britain, Austria, and Holland. During the following years, Ortes 
travelled extensively through Italy. In 1751, he was in Tuscany with a lifelong contact, Count 
Octavian Karl Nicolaus von Sinzendorf, the Grand Prior of Hungary and a secret counselor 
(Geheimrat) of the Imperial Austrian court. At other times, Ortes was also in contact with the 
Austrian Empire's ambassador to Venice, Count Philip Joseph Orsini-Rosenberg, who had 
married a former lover of both Casanova and of Andrea Memmo, Giustiniana Wynne. 

During 1755, Ortes was in France, perhaps with Sinzendorf. Then Ortes went on to Vienna, 
where his contact with Sinzendorf is confirmed. Between April and August 1756 Ortes was in 
Berlin, and he returned to Vienna at the end of that year. 

A short unpublished manuscript is conserved in the archives of Venice's Biblioteca Marciana in 
which Ortes, writing from Vienna on Nov. 12, 1756, gives his views on a white paper of the 
Prussian government which set forth the official reasons for Frederick the Great's termination of 



his treaty with Austria. Ortes, ever the arithmomaniac, states that "the survival of a principality 
depends on the amount of its own forces multiplied by its deception to defend itself from the 
forces of its neighbors." [Bartolo Anglani, p. 77] Ortes supports the Austrian position and thus, 
formally speaking, comes down against the British-allied side. This is not surprising, since Ortes 
was clearly assigned at the time as an Austrian handler. 

The period of Ortes's intensive travel roughly coincides with the 1748 to 1756 interval of peace 
between the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War, the two phases of the 
world war of the mid-eighteenth century from which the British Empire emerged victorious. A 
short biography of Ortes provided by his posthumous editor Custodi states that Ortes also visited 
England during these years. Around 1745, Ortes became interested in the English writer 
Alexander Pope, and began work on an Italian translation of Pope's "Essay on Man" which was 
published three decades later, in 1776. The economic writings of Ortes also show that he was 
aware of the existence of extreme poverty in England, which he describes. 

During the summer of 1755, Louis XV of France and Count Kaunitz, the Austrian foreign 
minister, began to negotiate what became known as the Diplomatic Revolution of 1756, the 
famous "reversal of alliances" which for the first time in centuries saw French Bourbons and 
Austrian Hapsburgs allied, specifically against Great Britain and Frederick the Great of Prussia. 
Later, Count Kaunitz would ask for two copies of Ortes's book on national economy. Ortes's 
itinerary of the period touches three capitals immediately involved in the rapid policy shifts of 
1755-56-Paris, Vienna, and Berlin. The full story of Ortes's role in these events is still hidden in 
unpublished materials in the Venetian archives. 

THE OUTLOOK OF ORTES 

Ortes often speaks most frankly in the works which he never published, but which have survived 
only in manuscript. Such is the case of Ortes's work Reflections of an American Philosopher of a 
Few Centuries in the Future on the Customs of the Europeans of the Current Century, with Some 
Considerations on these of a European Philosopher of the Current Century. This is a work full of 
hatred for western civilization, expressed from a multicultural standpoint. Writing two centuries in 
the future from Ortes's time, the noble savage Aza, one of the indigenous peoples of the 
Americas, offers a commentary on the decadence and corruption of "those barbarians," that is to 
say of the Europeans. Aza is later joined by another noble savage of the Americas, named Zima, 
who offers further observations. Then the entire package is commented upon by a European of 
the time of Ortes. Aza and Zima embrace the typical doctrines of Jean- Jacques Rousseau, while 
the European philosopher answers with the ideas of Thomas Hobbes. 

For Aza and Zima, the cause of European decadence is the existence of society itself. Aza finds 
that "if nature ever produced a bastard, then it was certainly in the European race of that time." 
Aza continues: 

"It is true that in order to realize their error it should have been enough [for the Europeans] to 
extend their thoughts beyond what their eyes could see, beyond that margin of the earth where 
they had so thoughtlessly multiplied themselves, to the vast tracts of America, Africa, and Asia. 



Here they would have seen humanity, without vices and not afflicted by any social establishment, 
living free and independent, without needs or desires which could not be easily satisfied; and they 
would have seen from the larger and more tranquil part of mankind what is their natural 
condition." [Bartolo Anglani, "Ortes e Rousseau: Le 'Rifelssioni diun Filosofo Americano'l" in 
Giammaria Ortes: Un Tilosofo' Veneziano del Settecento, pp. 102, 104.] 

Within society, Ortes targets in particular religion for a special attack. Aza traces the origin within 
western society of authority, first as custodian and interpreter of the laws, then as the arbitrary 
creator of laws. The "necessity of the times created a similar authority, and not being able to 
assign it on earth, they thought to extract it from the sky. ... It was agreed to give credence to a 
heavenly authority armed, in the absence of a sword, with thunderbolts and darts." [Anglani, pp. 
101-102.] Then came the invention of "another life" after life on earth, a life of "invariable and 
eternal length" to be lived out by "a special and separable essence" called "soul or spirit." Finally, 
religion was represented as quasi-human and modelled on "sublimated human authority." Later, 
says Aza, "a species of men took over the actual representation of this spirit, and formed that 
famous union among themselves which they called Church. These men were destined to consider 
themsleves as mediators between that spirit and every other common man. . . . And to make that 
more persuasive, they tried to make the spirit itself palpable, giving it human form and making it 
visible for all time in a succession of lieutenants." [Anglani, 101] The answer given to all this by 
the European philosopher of 1760 is the brutal Hobbesian one that human beings are compelled to 
live together in society in order to avoid the attacks and aggressions of which they would 
otherwise be the target. 

Here we see the constant themes of Venetian propaganda from the Third Crusade through the 
war against the Renaissance to Mazzini: the denigration of western civilization and Latin 
Christianity by a city-state that was always a part of the Byzantine-Orthodox tradition; the desire 
to wipe out the Roman papacy; and the exaltation of backwardness and irrationality. Given his 
need to preserve his cover as a churchman, Ortes was well advised not to have published this 
piece of writing, which would have placed him among the most raging libertines of his century. 

But Ortes's published works are revealing enough. In 1757, Ortes published his "Calcolo sopra i 
giuochi della bassetta e del faraone," a mathematical study of card playing. Here the abbe makes 
the following observation on the essence of gambling and human nature: 

"The fact that a passion for gambling is a superstition will not seem strange to anyone who 
considers that any human passion is just as much a passion and an error, precisely because it is a 
persuasion for which no reason can be furnished. ... So that we would say that since in human 
affairs everything depends on passion, everything depends on superstition, that one superstition 
does nothing but fight another, that the man who is considered the most important is the most 
superstitious, and that the lazy man is the most abject among men because he is without passions 
and without superstitions." 

In the same year of 1757, Ortes published two essays in one volume entitled Calculation of the 
Value of Opinions and of the Pleasures and Pains of Human Life. The atmosphere here is Hobbes 
and Mandeville, and prefigures the later hedonistic calculus of Jeremy Bentham. Ortes's main 



point in the Calculation of the Pleasures and Pains of Human Life is that man is above all a 
creature dominated by pain and suffering, and that what is called pleasure is merely the 
momentary absence of pain. Pain is the norm, and pleasure the brief exception. 

Ortes sums up his argument thus: 

"That man is subjected by nature to pain and not to pleasure, that pain and pleasure proceed in 
man from the torment and from the relief of his fibers, that pain in man is in greater supply than 
pleasure, that the number of pains and pleasures depends on the force of application-this can be 
said with certainty.... If these doctrines are thought to redound to the discredit of humanity, I find 
myself to be of this species without complaining about it; and if I conclude that all the pains and 
pleasures of this life are only illusions, I can add that all human ratiocinations are only madness. 
And when I say all, I do not except my own calculations." [Anglani, pp. 147-148] 

It was the Calculation of the Value of Human Opinions that got Ortes in trouble with the censors 
and brought him under public attack as a "physio theist." The Venetian newspaper Novelle della 
repubblica letteraria of Aug. 27, 1757 listed a series of propositions found by the reviewer in 
Ortes's book. Among these were that "every man is equal to every other, and all are equally 
worth nothing." Then came "prudence," which Ortes was accused of having defined as "a useful 
deception." Ortes had written that: 

"every man is inclined by nature to the pleasure of the senses. This induces him to live in 
society from which he derives a quantity of these pleasures." [Anglani, p. 122] 

Ortes further asserted that: 

"the value of opinions are riches, since it is clear that riches change and buy opinions like any 
other type of commerce, and thus become the common measure of opinions as of all the products 
of nature and of art. These riches, then, that measure opinions are those that we possess or that 
we acquire or that we can make use of by means of these opinions, divided by the number of 
supporters of these opinions." [Anglani, 126] 

During these years, Ortes was interested in contemporary French writers like Maupertuis and La 
Mettrie. After 1757, Ortes published nothing for more than a decade. In 1761, he wrote to a 
friend that he had stopped studying. This is when he decided to become an economist. 

ORTES THE ECONOMIST 

In 1774, Ortes published his principal work, Della Economia Nazionale (On National Economy). 
He begins by dismissing as superficial those believers in progress and humanitarians who wish to 
improve the material prosperity of humanity. Those who have insight can see that: 

"national economy is a matter which cannot be improved in any way by any particular action, 
and all attempts by persons seeking to organize national economy according to a better system, as 
regards provision or increase of goods, have to end up as useless efforts." 



Ortes expands on this theme: 



"But that the general wealth cannot be increased for some without an equal deficiency of them 
for others; that no one can find himself better off without someone else being worse off, or 
without somebody's suffering; that the mass of common goods is determined in every nation by 
the need, and that it cannot exceed this need by even a hairsbreadth, neither by the charms of a 
charlatan nor by the work of a philosopher nor even by the work of a sovereign; this is what, as 
far as I know, was never said or at least was never proven by anybody, but is rather contrary to 
what is usually advanced on this subject in public discourse, in secret murmurings and with all 
kinds of books, be they the most common or the most bizarre. [Nuccio, Ec. Naz., p. 41-42] 

Ortes goes on to add some observations on what he calls "economic good and evil" or the 
abundance and deficiency of products. As a Venetian Aristotelian, Ortes believes that production 
is rigidly determined by the number of people involved, and cannot otherwise be increased. The 
only problems that can be solved by human intervention or the policies of government are to some 
degree those of distribution. 

In the course of this argument, Ortes sets up the single axiom upon which his entire study of 
national economy will depend: 

"This will be, that everything that is done, is done with sufficient reason; which means that 
nobody undertakes an action, work, or job of any kind without an impulse of motivation for this, 
be this motivation good or evil...." [Nuccio, pp. 43-44] 

This is doubtless a conscious parody of Leibniz's famous doctrine of sufficient reason, which for 
him was a principle of the intelligibility of causality. What Ortes means, by contrast, is the most 
vulgar materialism and hedonism. Ortes means that a human being will normally tend to inert 
torpor, but will be roused to work as much as necessary to survive or to satisfy other needs. 
However, no one will ever work more than is necessary for survival and for the satisfaction of 
these needs. Hence derives for Ortes the fixed and unimprovable level of the wealth of each 
nation, which will always be the product of its population multiplied by this irreducible minimum 
amount of work. Or, as Ortes says: 

"Having posited this truth, I say again, the substances spread throughout a nation and by means 
of which the nation exists must be determined precisely by the needs of the nation, without any 
abundance or deficiency; so if we suppose in any nation some number of persons, they will require 
certain goods in order to survive, and the reason for the production of these goods will only be 
precisely providing for these persons. Because however these persons can only consume a 
determined quantity of goods, these goods cannot fall short or be excessive in relation to their 
need, thanks to the fact that if the goods were not there or were inferior to the needs of all, all 
those persons would not survive, which is contrary to our supposition; and if the goods were 
excessive or were superior to the need, then those goods would have been produced and would 
be kept without sufficient reason, without which nothing is ever done, as we pointed out." 
[Nuccio p. 44] 



Ortes has thus preceded John Von Neumann and others in defining economic reality as a 
zero-sum game. The experienced card-playing abbe makes this very explicit: 

"The good therefore, understood as the possession of goods in excess of what is needed, can 
only be expressed between the individual and the commonality as the number zero, and since there 
is an inevitable lack of goods for some if these are to be abundant for others, this good can only 
appear as a mixture of economic good and evil, which tends neither to one nor to the other, or as 
the vector sum of forces which, operating with equal energy in different and opposite directions, 
destroy each other and resolve themselves into nothing. [Nuccio, p. 45] 

Ortes then proceeds to provide a graphic and extreme illustration of these absurd ideas. He sets 
up the contrast between the Roman Emperor Nero, who was certainly a bloody and repressive 
tyrant, and the emperor Titus, whom he presents as a model of good and mild government. Ortes 
then argues that Roman soceity was just as well off under Nero as under Titus: 

"people will certainly say that Titus promoted [the common good] in his time, and that Nero 
promoted it in the totally opposite direction, since Titus pursued his own interests without 
destruction and Nero pursued his interests with the destruction of the common good, so that 
wealth grew under Titus and decreased under Nero. But economic good and the lack of it were 
equal under these two emperors, which can be convincingly shown by the fact that no matter how 
many people Titus made happy, without making anyone unhappy, and no matter how many 
people Nero made unhappy in order to make himself happy, Titus would nevertheless eternally 
have found someone to make happy, and Nero someone to make unhappy." [Nuccio, p. 50] 

Which goes to show that a determined Aristotelian kook can "prove" literally anything. 

ORTES AS DEMOGRAPHER 

Ortes's most influential work was his Reflections on the Population of Nations in Relation to 
National Economy, published in 1790, but apparently written starting in 1775. The dirigists and 
kameralists of the eighteenth century were agreed that one of the main purposes of government 
was the promotion of population as the key source of national wealth: gobernar es poblar, to 
govern is to populate, said the Spanish proverb. Ortes starts off by noting that 

"these writers are all accustomed to teach that the growth of population is a great advantage to 
a nation, with the supposition of thus increasing wealth and by consequence the national greatness 
and power which depend on that wealth." Against this, Ortes contends that "the population in any 
nation must be contained within certain limits. ..." [Ortes, p. 7] 

Alongside of population growth, Ortes attacks foreign trade: 

"I have no doubt in asserting that domestic trade is to be preferred to foreign trade in the 
certainty that domestic trade is the one by which a nation is provided with the goods necessary, 
commodious, and pleasurable for its maintenance, and foreign trade is only a supplement for 
deficiencies in domestic trade." [Ortes, p. 8] 



In other locations Ortes endorsed free trade precisely as this type of supplement, arguing that such 
free trade would be equally beneficial for all concerned. 

Against all evidence, Ortes has no trouble in denying the obvious fact that the standard of living 
and productive capacities do vary among nations. He repeats his creed that: 

"the goods of a nation are in every nation in proportion to the population, without excess or 
deficiency, and that given the same population it is not possible to increase them for some people 
without reducing them just as much for others." [Ortes, p. 10] 

What of the fact that the sovereign, government, and great nobility of certain countries seem to be 
much wealthier than those of other countries? Ortes concedes that they may indeed be wealthier. 
But he quickly adds that: 

"since the capital of money and of goods in every nation is in proportion to its population, it 
must be said that the greater wealth of some only occurs through just as much greater poverty for 
others in the nation itself." 

Therefore, to increase a nation's population and foreign trade with the goal of making that nation 
richer, greater, and more powerful than the others is nothing but a fraud, in which instead of 
looking at the whole nation only a few are considered, such as the sovereign and the great nobles 
who shine most brightly; and this is a very false thing, because the nation is made up not just of 
this sovereign or of those great nobles, but of these together with the rest of the population, 
without which there would be no sovereign, no great nobles and no nation at all. [Ortes, p. 12] 

To make the government and the nobility rich, far greater masses of people are made poor, 
resulting in "servitude and oppression." [Ortes, p. 13] Economists ought to be concerned about 
redistribution of wealth by "diminishing the excessive wealth of the rich," but the economists do 
the opposite. The current century claims to be the most illuminated, but is in reality the most 
stupid and senseless of all. 

In his first chapter, entitled "Unlimited Progress of Generations," Ortes starts from his standard 
population sample of two men and two women of an age suitable for reproduction, with two 
surviving parents and one surviving grandparent. He assumes a natural and unalterable tendency 
of each couple to produce 6 children, of which 2 die before reaching the age of 20. Ortes then 
shows, with tables, that at this rate, the population will double every 30 years. He produces 
further tables to show that after 900 years, a population which doubles every 30 years will reach 
more than 7.5 billion. 

Ortes comments: 

"Thus, taking into account only time and the faculty of generation, the population, after those 
6,000 years which are usually counted from the creation of the world until today, would by now 
be found to have grown to so many living persons not only as to not be able to breathe on the 
earth, but even so many as could not be contained on all its surface from the deepest valleys to the 



steepest mountains, packed numerous like dead and dried herring in their barrels. This makes 
known that there is a necessary limit at which the progress of generations stops. . . ." [Ortes, p. 28] 

In the case of animals, the limit to population growth is provided by the actions of mankind or by 
predators and other natural factors. Human population increase is limited by mankind's need for 
products like "food, clothing, and dwellings of the vegetable and animal types as they are in use in 
human life. . . ." These are limited, says the abbe. Therefore, human population growth must also 
be limited: 

"In this way, since it is believed that all the products mentioned above as necessary for human 
life which can be extracted from the entire surface of the earth and from the animals that are found 
there are as many as are sufficient to feed, to dress, and to house up to 3,000 million persons, this 
will therefore be the maximum of persons capable of surviving at the same time on earth, and that 
progression will have to stop when it arrives at that number; this is something that will happen 
after 840 years if the 7 persons assumed had found themselves alone on the earth at the creation 
of the world or after a universal flood. If that progression [of population] were to proceed beyond 
this, the parents would have to strangle their babies in their diapers or use them as food, unless 
the earth were expand like a balloon blown up from the inside, and did not double its surface for 
each new generation until it filled the immensity of the skies." [Ortes, p. 34] 

Ortes always strictly ignored technological change and the impact that this might have on, for 
example, agricultural production, or infant mortality and life expectancy. For him, all forms of 
production were fixed, frozen, and never had and never would change. There was no such thing 
as progress or improvement. In ignoring technological and scientific innovation, Ortes ignored the 
primary data of economics and the main factors which determine relative potential poopulation 
density in the real world. Ortes is interesting only as a kind of Canaletto of economic pathology 
who provides us with snapshots of a society of monstrous stagnation and decadence, Venice on 
the eve of its extinction. 

Although Ortes set the world's "carrying capacity" at an immutable maximum of 3 billion, he 
estimated that in his contemporary world the total human population was slightly more than 1 
billion. Why had world population not already collided with the 3 billion upper limit? Ortes 
blamed the rich, who limited the size of their families in order to keep their wealth concentrated in 
a single line of inheritance, and thus kept the poor too impecunious to be able to maintain any 
family at all. These arguments are deeply tinged with Venetian provincialism. Population would 
expand, Ortes thought, 

"if men were less greedy or did not oppress each other with poverty and with excessive riches." 
[Ortes, p. 35] 

Ortes believed that it was necessary to stabilize world population in a zero growth mode. For this, 
he recommended celibacy. He called for as many persons to remain celibate as got married, and 
used tables to show that if this were the case, population would remain permanently stationary. As 
undesirable alternatives to celibacy he listed prostitution, eunuchs, polygamy, and "other modes of 
incontinence used by the barbarous nations. . ." [Ortes, p. 41] 



Later Ortes established his model of an ideal or "natural" nation, which was a state of 5,000 
square miles of territory of the type found in the Italy of his day (The miles used by Ortes are old 
pre-metric system Italian miles which approximate nautical miles), with a population of 1 million, 
and a population density of 200 persons per square mile. In his view, such a state would allow the 
optimal use of economic resources by minimizing the depradations of government and court. He 
added that if a country got any bigger, the mutual intelligibility of dialects would be lost and the 
people would no longer speak the same language. Ortes contrasted to this model of a "natural" 
nation the "artificial" nations, characterized by "immense numbers of people on lands that are 
even more immense in relation to their numbers." In the artificial states, wealth and population 
were concentrated in the congested capital and other big cities, leaving vast areas empty. 

Ortes thought that the more "natural" European states were the petty Italian and German states, 
Holland, and Switzerland, where the population density reached 200 per square mile. In Spain, 
France, Great Britain, Prussia, Austria, and Poland, he estimated a population density of 72 per 
square mile. In Russia and European Turkey he estimated 40 inhabitants per square mile. This 
gave a total European population of 160,000,000. He estimated that Asia was five times bigger 
than Europe, but with a population of only 480,000,000 because of an even lower population 
density. But he thought that Asia was more densely populated than either Africa, with 220 
million, or the Americas, with 240 million, according to his estimates. 

It may be obvious already that Ortes had never studied population growth as such, but was merely 
describing some aspects of the moribund society of which he was a part-decadent Venice a few 
years before its end. Whether his ideal state has 1 million people or 3 million (as at various points 
in On National Economy) it is clear that he has only Venice in mind. At this stage the city of 
Venice had about 160,000 inhabitants, a sizable decline from earlier centuries. 

ORTES ON VENETIAN DECADENCE 

Ortes admitted more or less openly that he was writing about Venice. His chapters on the 
demographics of noble families reflected the Venetian decadence: for the family fondo to remain 
concentrated in a single line of biological inheritance, all the sons but one had to remain 
unmarried, with the youngest son often being given the responsibility for carrying on the line. 
More than two-thirds of the daughters of the aristocracy had no hope of finding husbands, and 
generally entered convents and other religious institutions which quickly acquired a reputation for 
licentiousness. According to E. Rodenwalt, in the sixteenth century 51% of Venetian male nobles 
remained unmarried; in the seventeenth century this had risen to 60%, and in Venice's final 
century to 66%. Of the fourteen doges who reigned between 1675 and 1775, only four were ever 
married-and this does not count the "dogaressa" mentioned above. 

The impoverished nobility formed a social class known as the barnabotti who retained their 
membership in the Maggior Consiglio, but who were forced by their noble status to abstain from 
any productive work and who thus tended to become corrupt state officials, political fixers, spies 
for the Council of Ten, etc. Many barnabotti lived on government welfare payments. Free housing 
and other provisions were offered to any of the barnabotti who agreed to remain unmarried and to 
have no offspring. In order to avoid the decimation of the ranks of the aristocracy, family 



membership in the Maggior Consiglio was offered in return for large cash payments at various 
times during the eighteenth century. This was the policy warmly recommended by Ortes as one of 
the main policy points of his Reflections on Population: a way of selling luxurious state rooms on 
the Titanic. 

In addition to having provided the main ideas for the English philosophical radicals, Ortes also 
received high praise from Karl Marx. The samples of Ortes's demagogy proivded here may cast 
some light on the reasons for this affinity. Ortes always provides a class analysis imbued with class 
conflict according to the shifting alliances of the various strata of Venetian patricians. In volume I 
of Capital Marx praised "the Venetian monk, Ortes" as "an original and clever writer." For Marx, 
Ortes was "one of the great economic writers of the eighteenth century [who] regards the 
antagonism of capitalist production as a general natural law of social wealth." Marx quotes 
Ortes's remark at the opening of On National Economy that "instead of projecting useless systems 
for the happiness of the peoples, I will limit myself to investigating the cause of their 
unhappiness." In Marx's view, Ortes was distinguished by his steady contemplation of "the fatal 
destiny that makes misery eternal. ..." Doubtless instructed by his master David Urquhart, Marx 
railed against Malthus as a reactionary plagiarist, but summoned only respect for the Venetian 
Ortes. 

In reality, Ortes was no economist, but an evil Venetian charlatan. He was a writer of excruciating 
boredom who managed to be a pedant while citing no authors other than himself. Yet it is in the 
name of doctrines of population stability and world carrying capacity traceable back to this raving 
faker of Venetian intelligence that the international Malthusian movement and the United Nations 
bureaucracy propose to carry out the greatest genocide of human history. The insanity of 
Giammaria Ortes is one more good reason to boycott and shut down the Cairo Conference. 

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 

For summaries of the biography and writings of Ortes, see Giammaria Ortes: un "filosofo" 
veneziano del Settecento (Florence: L.S. Olschki, 1993), based on the proceedings of a 
conference of the Cini Foundation. 

See also material on Ortes in Gianfranco Torcellan, Settecento Veneto e altri scritti storici 
(Torino: Giappichelli, 1969). 

For Ortes's relations with the Venetian oligarchy, see Piero del Negro, "Giammaria Ortes, il 
Patriziato e la Politica di Venezia" in the cited Giammaria Ortes collection, pp. 125-182. 

See also in the same collection Bartolo Anglani, "Ortes e Rousseau: Le "Riflessioni di un Filosofo 
Americano. 'I" 

A number of the shorter and/or previously unpublished works of Ortes appear in Bartolo Anglani 
(ed.), Giammaria Ortes: Cacolo sopra la verita' dell'istoria e altri scritti (Genoa: Costa & Nolan, 
1984). 



On National Economy quotes refer to Ortes, Delia Economia Nazionale (Milano: Marzorati), 
edited by Oscar Nuccio. 

Quotes from Reflections on the Population of Nations and other economic works are from the 
multi-volume anthology Scrittori Classici Italiani di Economia Politica (parte moderna), edited by 
Custodi; 

Reflections on the Population of Nations is in volume 31 of this collection; 
Popular Errors Concerning National Economy is in volume 32. 

For material on Venice in the eighteenth century, see-among many others- John Julius Norwich, 
A History of Venice (New York, Knopf, 1982). 

For Anrea Memmo and Casanova, see John Masters, Casanova (New York: Bernard Geis, 1969). 

How the Dead Souls of Venice Corrupted Science 
ICLC Conference, September, 1994 

There is a cancer growing on world history - the cancer of oligarchism. Between 1200 A.D. and 
about 1600 A.D., the world center of gravity for the forces of oligarchism was the oligarchy of 
Venice. Toward the end of that time, the Venetian oligarchy decided for various reasons to 
transfer its families, fortunes, and characteristic outlook to a new base of operations, which turned 
out to be the British Isles. The old program of a worldwide new Roman Empire with its capital in 
Venice was replaced by the new program of a worldwide new Roman Empire with its capital in 
London - what eventually came to be known as the British Empire. 

This was the metastasis of the cancer, the shift of the Venetian Party from the Adriatic to the 
banks of the Thames, and this has been the main project of the world oligarchy during the past 
five centuries. The Venetian Party, wherever it is, believes in epistemological warfare. The 
Venetian Party knows that ideas are more powerful weapons than guns, fleets, and bombs. In 
order to secure acceptance for their imperial ideas, the Venetian Party seeks to control the way 
people think. If you can control the way people think, say the Venetians, you can control the way 
they respond to events, no matter what those events may be. It is therefore vital to the Venetians 
to control philosophy and especially science, the area where human powers of hypothesis and 
creative reason become a force for improvements in the order of nature. The Venetian Party is 
implacably hostile to scientific discovery. Since the days of Aristotle, they have attempted to 
suffocate scientific discovery by using formalism and the fetishism of authoritative professional 
opinion. The Venetian Party has also created over the centuries a series of scientific frauds and 
hoaxes, which have been elevated to the status of incontrovertible and unchallengeable 
authorities. These have been used to usurp the rightful honor due to real scientists, whom the 
Venetians have done everything possible to destroy. 

We can identify the Venetian faction which has been responsible for the most important of these 



scientific and epistemological frauds. They can be called the "dead souls" faction, or perhaps the 
"no-soul brothers" of Venetian intelligence. This is because their factional pedigree is based on the 
belief that human beings have no soul. Their factional creed is the idea that human beings have no 
creative mental powers, are incapable of forming hypotheses, and cannot make scientific 
discoveries. 

THREE GROUPS OF VENETIAN GAMEMASTERS 

We can approach these Venetian dead souls in three groups. First there is the group around Pietro 
Pomponazzi, Gasparo Contarini, and Francesco Zorzi, who were active in the first part of the 
1500s. Second, there is the group of Paolo Sarpi and his right-hand man Fulgenzio Micanzio, the 
case officers for Galileo Galilei. This was the group that opposed Johannes Kepler in the early 
1600s. Third, we have the group around Antonio Conti and Giammaria Ortes in the early 1700s. 
This was the group that created the Newton myth and modern materialism or utilitarianism and 
combated Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. These three groups of Venetian gamemasters are 
responsible for a great deal of the obscurantism and garbage that weighs like a nightmare on the 
brain of humanity today. These Venetian intelligence officials are the original atheists and 
materialists of the modern world, as reflected in the sympathy of Soviet writers for figures like 
Galileo, Newton, and Voltaire as ancestors of what was later called dialectical materialism. 

The leading figure of the first grouping in the early 1500s was Gasparo Contarini. In other 
locations we have told the story of how Contarini, for Venetian raisons d'etat, set into motion the 
Protestant Reformation, including Martin Luther, King Henry VIII of England, Jean Calvin of 
Geneva, and the Italian crypto-Protestants known as gli Spirituali. At the same time, Contarini 
was the cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who masterminded the early phases of the 
Catholic Counter-Reformation. Contarini was the personal protector of Ignatius of Loyola, and 
played a decisive role in establishing the Jesuit Order. Contarini also convoked the Council of 
Trent on an Aristotelian platform. 

It is with Pietro Pomponazzi that we see the explicit factional pedigree of the dead souls faction. 
Pomponazzi started from Aristotle, as the Venetian Party always does. Aristotle asserted that 
there is no thought which is not mixed with sense impressions. This meant that there is no part of 
our mental life which is not contaminated by matter. For Pomponazzi, this proved that the soul 
does not exist, since it has no immaterial substance. Contarini warned Pomponazzi not to take this 
matter any further, but also remarked that the only time that the existence of the soul is really 
certain is when the person is already dead. For Contarini, as a practical matter, there is no 
empirical human soul that you can be aware of while you are still alive. 

Francesco Zorzi was the envoy of this group to Henry VIII, to whom he became the resident sex 
adviser. Zorzi illustrates the typical profile of a Venetian intelligence operative in the early 1500s: 
He was a Franciscan friar whose main occupation was black magic of the Rosicrucian variety. He 
was a conjurer, a necromancer, an apparitionist. Think of Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, 
and you have the portrait of Zorzi. Not exactly a role model for science nerds of any age. As the 
1500s turned into the 1600s, this profile began to present serious drawbacks and limitations. 
SARPI AND GALILEO 



Until about 1600, the posture of the Venetian Party toward science was one of more or less open 
hostility, favoring black magic. But in the early 1600s, the group around Sarpi succeeded in 
changing their public profile from being the enemies of science to being the embodiment of the 
most advanced and sophisticated science. For several centuries after this, the Venetians would 
work inside the scientific community to take it over. They would claim to represent the highest 
expression of scientific values. In this way, they could institutionalize the dead hand of formalism 
and the fetishism of authority, so as to stifle the process of discovery. 

The chief of Venetian intelligence who made this possible was Paolo Sarpi. Sarpi and his friend 
Fulgenzio Micanzio were Servite monks. Sarpi was part of an important Venetian salon of the 
day, the Ridotti Morosini, which met for discussions in the palace of the Morosini family on the 
Grand Canal. The Morosini were the direct ideological heirs of Gasparo Contarini. The Morosini 
salon centered on a discussion of science, and it became the nucleus for the youthful faction of the 
Venetian oligarchy, the so-called Giovani, who became powerful after 1582. The Giovani favored 
a policy of cooperation with Holland, England, and France in conflicts with the Austrian and 
Spanish Hapsburgs and the papacy. The Vecchi, the oldies, serviced the Venetian networks on the 
Spanish and papal side, which were also quite extensive. 

We have told in other locations how Sarpi organized and unleashed the Thirty Years' War in 
Central Europe, using agents like Max von Thurn und Taxis, Christian von Anhalt, Christoph von 
Dona, and the Elector Palatine Frederick, the so-called Winter King. In this sense, Paolo Sarpi 
personally exterminated about one-third of the entire population of Europe, and about one-half of 
the population of Germany and surrounding areas. Sarpi also caused the assassination of King 
Henry IV of France when Henry opposed Sarpi's designs and exposed him as an atheist. Paolo 
Sarpi, we see, is a worthy predecessor to Bertrand Russell. 

But Sarpi in his own time was considered an eminent mathematician. One contemporary wrote of 
him: ". . .1 can say about him without any exaggeration whatsoever that no one in Europe excels 
him in the knowledge of [mathematical] sciences." This is the view of Sarpi held by Galileo 
Galilei. 

Sarpi's companions at the Ridotto Morosini during the 1590s included the influential mystic 
Giordano Bruno. Starting in 1592, there was also a professor of mathematics at the nearby 
University of Padua: Galileo Galilei, a native of Florence. Galileo taught mathematics in Padua 
from 1592 to 1610, and it was during his stay on Venetian territory that he became a celebrity. 
Galileo was a paid agent of Sarpi and, after Sarpi's death, of Sarpi's right-hand man Micanzio. 
There is a correspondence on scientific subjects between Sarpi and Galileo, including on 
magnetism, which was Sarpi's favorite, because he found it occult. Galileo proposed some of his 
first ideas on falling bodies to Sarpi, who enthused that Galileo had been born to solve the 
question of motion. 

Galileo's fame was procured when he used a small telescope to observe the moons of Jupiter, the 
rings of Saturn, and the phases of Venus. He reported these sightings in his essay The Starry 
Messenger, which instantly made him the premier scientist in Europe and thus a very important 
agent of influence for the Venetian Party. This entire telescope operation had been devised by 



Paolo Sarpi. 



The first telescope had been built by Leonardo da Vinci about a hundred years before Galileo. 
Susan Welsh has called attention to the research of Domenico Argentieri on Leonardo's optical 
manuscripts, which demonstrates that Leonardo's telescope had a convex lens at one end and a 
concave lens at the other. Its magnifying power was rather weak, but it was a telescope. There are 
reports of a telescope made in Italy in 1590. By 1608, telescopes began to turn up in Holland, and 
Galileo says he was encouraged by reports of them to build his own telescope in 1609. 

Sarpi's version of these events is more revealing. He wrote on March 16, 1610 that a telescope 
had been found in Holland two years before, therefore in spring 1608. "Once this was found," 
wrote Sarpi, "our mathematician of Padua [Galileo] and some of our other people who are not 
ignorant of these arts began to use the telescope on celestial bodies, adjusting it and refining it for 
the purpose. . . ." Notice: Galileo "and some of our other people." It would appear that the 
observations were made not from Padua, but from Paolo Sarpi's Servite monastery in Venice. 
Sarpi wrote about Galileo as "our mathematician," saying that he had "frequently discussed with 
him at the time" about the results of the telescopic observations, and did not need to read what 
Galileo had written about them. 

In 1611, a Polish visitor to Venice, Rey, wrote that Galileo had not really been the inventor of the 
telescope, but that the "adviser, author, and director" of the telescope project had been Father 
Paolo Sarpi, "who is considered the greatest mathematician here." 

In 1597, Johannes Kepler had sent a copy of his new book, Mysterium Cosmographicum, to 
Galileo. This was the work in which Kepler proposed the Platonic solids as the basis for 
understanding the harmonic ordering of the planetary orbits around the Sun. Galileo thereupon 
sent a letter to Kepler, explaining that he, too, was a follower of the Copernican or heliocentric 
view, but that he "had not dared" to come forward with this view because of fear, and preferred 
to sit on the whole business because of the climate of opinion. Kepler had written back urging 
Galileo to be confident and to go forward with the struggle for truth, offering to find publishers in 
Germany if the Italian climate were too oppressive. Galileo did not do this, and refused to 
comment in detail on Kepler's book. According to Kepler's biographer Max Caspar, in the 
following years Galileo used material from Kepler in his lectures, but without giving Kepler credit. 

Kepler and Galileo were in frequent contact for over 30 years. Kepler commented with benevolent 
interest - and with subtle polemics - about Galileo's published works. But Galileo never 
commented systematically on Kepler's laws. In 1609, Kepler published his Astro nomia Nova, 
expounding his first and second laws of planetary motion - that the planets move in ellipses of 
which the Sun is one focus, and that the planets sweep out equal areas in equal times between 
themselves and the Sun as they revolve. In Galileo's Dialogues on the Two Great World Systems, 
published in 1533, Kepler is hardly mentioned, while the discussion centers on Copernicus, with 
his perfect circle orbits of the planets around the Sun, which had no hope of accounting for the 
observed positions of the planets. At the end, one of the characters says that he is surprised at 
Kepler for being so "puerile" as to attribute the tides to the attraction of the Moon. 



During the first years of the pontificate of Pope Urban VIII Barberini, Galileo was the 
semi-official scientist for the pope. But in 1631, when the Swedish Protestant army of Gustavus 
Adolphus fought its way through Germany, reached the Alps, and seemed ready to sweep down 
on Rome, Urban VIII turned abruptly from a pro-French to a pro-Spanish policy. The Spanish 
ascendancy is the backdrop for the trial of Galileo carried out by the Dominicans with Jesuit 
support. Some years earlier, Sarpi had forecast that if Galileo went to Rome, the Jesuits and 
others were likely to "turn . . . the question of physics and astronomy into a theological question," 
so as to condemn Galileo as "an excommunicated heretic" and force him to "recant all his views 
on this subject." Sarpi in 1616 seemed to know very well what would happen more than 15 years 
later, well after his own death. It is evident that the scenario sketched here corresponded to 
Sarpi's own long-term plan. For Galileo, the trial was one of the greatest public relations 
successes of all time. The gesture of repression against Galileo carried out by the Dominicans of 
Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome established the equation Galileo=modern experimental 
science struggling against benighted obscurantism. That equation has stood ever since, and this 
tragic misunderstanding has had terrible consequences for human thought. Lost in the brouhaha 
about Galileo is the more relevant fact that Kepler had been condemned by the Inquisition more 
than a decade before. 

Sarpi's philosophical and scientific writings were not published until after World War II. These 
are the Pensieri, or Thoughts, and the Arte di Ben Pensare, the Art of Thinking Well. Sarpi's 
achievement for Venetian intelligence was to abstract the method of Aristotle from the mass of 
opinions expressed by Aristotle on this or that particular issue. In this way, sense certainty could 
be kept as the basis of scientific experiments, and Aristotle's embarrassingly outdated views on 
certain natural phenomena could be jettisoned. This allowed the Venetians to preserve the 
essential Aristotle, while attacking exponents of the Aristotelian or Peripatetic school, such as the 
Jesuits of the Collegio Romano. These writings by Sarpi have not been translated, but they are the 
basis of everything written by Sir Francis Bacon. The Bacon-Hobbes menage was in close contact 
with Sarpi and Micanzio. Sarpi can also be found in Locke, who took almost 1,000 pages to write 
what Sarpi had put down in 30. 

In the Art of Thinking Well, Sarpi starts from sense perception and sense certainty. He suggests 
that an impression made on our sensory apparatus by outside objects has to be distinguished from 
those objects. Especially he points to tastes, odors, and sounds, which he thinks are a matter of 
our nervous system, not of outside reality. In a different category are ideas of quantity, size, and 
time, which are objective. In the same manuscript, Sarpi lists the immortality of the soul as one on 
a list of wrong ideas. Sarpi repeats the argument of Pomponazzi that since there is no knowledge 
without sensation, the soul dies with the body. Again, the trademark of the Venetian dead souls 
faction. 

Galileo's epistemology comes straight from Sarpi. We can see this in Galileo's 1623 essay II 
Saggiatore, The Assayer. For Galileo, colors, tastes, sounds, smells, are mere words. They exist 
only for our bodies. Galileo makes the famous comparison of these to tickling. If you brush a 
feather over the soles of the feet or the armpits of a marble statue, you will not produce a tickle. 
But if you do this to a human being, you will cause that tickling sensation. So, Galileo says, it is 
time to get rid of ears, tongues, and noses, and go for shapes, numbers, and motions, and never 



odors, tastes, and sounds. From this he proceeds quickly to a reductionist theory of atoms, in 
which heat is explained as the effect a "fiery minims" of igneous atoms. Galileo's epistemology is 
identical with that of Sarpi. This is what Galileo means when he denies Aristotle to say that the 
truth is written in the book of nature, and written in mathematical characters. Galileo was a 
reductionist. 

Sarpi died in 1623, and Galileo's case officer became the Servite monk Fulgenzio Micanzio. After 
Galileo had been condemned, Micanzio reminded Galileo of the assignment he had received from 
Sarpi 20 years earlier: to write a treatise on motion. And by the way, added Micanzio, I have 258 
pounds here for you. Later, Micanzio would procure Galileo a pension of 60 scudi per year from 
the coffers of the Venetian state. 

Galileo responded to Micanzio's orders with the 1638 Discourses on Two New Sciences, 
Mechanics and Local Motion. Because Galileo had been condemned by the Inquisition, he could 
not be published anywhere that papal authority was strong. Micanzio therefore arranged for 
Galileo's book to be printed by the Dutch Elsevir press in Leyden. 

In 1634, Micanzio wrote to Galileo that he had been talking to an expert in science and 
philosophy - called a virtuoso in the parlance of the day - who had commented that although he 
did not deny Galileo's scientific ability, "the things that you bring are not new, but are already in 
Kepler." Indeed. Galileo wrote back that the correct answer to this virtuoso is that although 
Galileo and Kepler may sometimes seem to agree about certain astronomical phenomena, "my 
way of philosophizing is so different from his." (Nov. 19, 1634). 

In letters written in 1640, Galileo threw further light on his own scientific method. Galileo 
complained that he had been misunderstood: "Against all the reason in the world, I am accused of 
impugning Peripatetic doctrine, whereas I profess and am certain of observing more religiously 
the Peripatetic - or, to put it better, Aristotelian - teachings than many others. . . ." (Aug. 24, 
1640). Galileo asserted that he had tried to study phenomena: "that in all natural effects assure me 
of their existence, their "an sit" [if it be], whereas I gain nothing from their how, their 
"quomodo." (June 23, 1640). Some might try to dismiss these admissions as a distortion of 
Galileo's outlook caused by the crackdown of which he was still a victim, but I would submit that 
this is the real Galileo talking. What Galileo is trying to express here is the same thing Isaac 
Newton meant with his infamous "hypotheses non fingo" [I do not fabricate hypotheses]. Which 
brings us to Newton. 
NEWTON: A CULTIST KOOK 

The next phase of the corruption of science by Venice depends on a rather obscure Cambridge 
don by the name of Isaac Newton. For the oligarchy, Newton and Galileo are the only two 
contenders for the honor of being the most influential thinker of their faction since Aristotle 
himself. The British oligarchy praises Newton as the founder of modern science. But, at the same 
time, they have been unable to keep secret the fact that Newton was a raving irrationalist, a cultist 
kook. Among the oligarchs, it was the British economist Lord John Maynard Keynes and a fellow 
Cambridge graduate who began to open the black box of Newton's real character. Was Newton 
the first and greatest of the modern scientists, the practitioner of cold and untinctured reason? No, 



said Keynes, Newton was not the first of the Age of Reason. He was the last of the magicians, the 
last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last wonderful child to whom the Magi could do 
sincere and appropriate homage. Keynes based his view on the contents of a box. What was in the 
box? The box contained papers which Newton had packed up when he left Cambridge for London 
in 1696, ending his Cambridge career and beginning his new life in London as member and 
president of the British Royal Society, director of the mint, resident magus of the new British 
Empire. 

Inside the box were manuscripts and papers totaling some 1.2 million words. After Newton's 
death, Bishop Horsley was asked to inspect the box, with a view to publication, but when he saw 
the contents, he recoiled in horror and slammed the lid. A century passed. Newton's 
nineteenth-century biographer, Sir David Brewster, looked into the box. He decided to save 
Newton's reputation by printing a few selections, but he falsified the rest with straight fibbing, as 
Keynes says. The box became known as the Portsmouth Papers. A few mathematical papers were 
given to Cambridge in 1888. In 1936, the current owner, Lord Lymington, needed money, so he 
had the rest auctioned off. Keynes bought as many as he could, but other papers were scattered 
from Jerusalem to America. 

As Keynes points out, Newton was a suspicious, paranoid, unstable personality. In 1692, Newton 
had a nervous breakdown and never regained his former consistency of mind. Pepys and Locke 
thought that he had become deranged. Newton emerged from his breakdown slightly "gaga." As 
Keynes stresses, Newton "was wholly aloof from women," although he had some close young 
male friends. He once angrily accused John Locke of trying to embroil him with women. 

In the past decades, the lid of the box has been partially and grudgingly opened by the Anglophile 
scholars who are the keepers of the Newton myth. What can we see inside the box? 

First, Newton was a supporter of the Arian heresy. He denied and attacked the Holy Trinity, and 
therefore also the Filioque and the concept of Imago Viva Dei. Keynes thought that Newton was 
"a Judaic monotheist of the school of Maimonides," which suggests that he was a Cabalist. For 
Newton, to worship Christ as God was idolatry and a mortal sin. Even in the Church of England, 
Newton had to keep these views secret or face ostracism. 
ALCHEMY AND GREEN LIONS 

Newton's real interest was not mathematics or astronomy. It was alchemy. His laboratory at 
Trinity College, Cambridge was fitted out for alchemy. Here, his friends said, the fires never went 
out during six weeks of the spring and six weeks of the autumn. And what is alchemy? What kind 
of research was Newton doing? His sources were books like the "Theatrum Chemicum 
Britannicum" of Elias Ashmole, the Rosicrucian leader of British speculative Freemasonry. 
Newton owned all six heavy quarto volumes of Ashmole. 

The goal of the alchemists was the quest for the mythical philosopher's stone, which would permit 
the alchemist to transmute lead and other base metals into gold. The alchemists hoped the 
philosopher's stone would give them other magical powers, such as rejuvenation and eternal 
youth. 



Alchemy also involved the relations between the astrological influences of the planets and the 
behavior of chemicals. One treatise that dealt with these issues was the "Metamorphosis of the 
Planets." Since the planet Jupiter had precedence among the planets, it also occupied a privileged 
position among the reagents of alchemy. Newton expressed this with a picture he drew of Jupiter 
Enthroned on the obverse of the title page of this book. 

What were Newton's findings? Let him speak for himself: "Concerning Magnesia of the green 
Lion. It is called Prometheus & the Chameleon. Also Androgyne, and virgin verdant earth in 
which the Sun has never cast its rays although he is its father and the moon its mother. Also 
common mercury, dew of heaven which makes the earth fertile, nitre of the wise. Instructio de 
arbore solari. It is the Saturnine stone." This would appear to have been written in the 1670s. A 
sample from the 1690s: "Now this green earth is the Green Ladies of B. Valentine the beautifully 
green Venus and the green Venereal emerald and green earth of Snyders with which he fed his 
lunary Mercury and by virtue of which Diana was to bring forth children and out of which saith 
Ripley the blood of the green Lyon is drawn in the beginning of the work." 

During the 1680s Newton also composed a series of aphorisms of alchemy, the sixth of which 
reads as follows: "The young new born king is nourished in a bigger heat with milk drawn by 
destellation from the putrefied matter of the second work. With this milk he must be imbibed 
seven times to putrefy him sufficiently and then dococted to the white and red, and in passing to 
the red he must be imbibed with a little red oil to fortify the solary nature and make the red stone 
more fluxible. And this may be called the third work. The first goes on no further than to 
putrefaction, the second goes to the white and the third to the red." (Westfall, pp. 292, 293, 358). 

And so it goes for more than a million words, with Green Lions, Androgynes, male and female 
principles, Pan and Osiris. Truly it has been said that Newton had probed the literature of alchemy 
as it had never been probed before or since, all during the time he was supposedly writing his 
Principia Mathematica. In addition, he drew up plans for King Solomon's Temple, and later a 
chronology of Biblical events which foreshortened that history by cutting out several hundred 
years. 

NEWTON'S "DISCOVERIES" 

And what about Newton's supposed discoveries? Upon closer scrutiny, it turns out that he had no 
discoveries. Take, for example, Newton's alleged law of universal gravitation, which states that 
the force of attraction of two point masses is equal to the product of the two masses divided by 
the square of the distance between them, times a constant. This is Newton's so-called inverse 
square law. It has long been known that this was not really a new discovery, but rather derived by 
some tinkering from Kepler's Third Law. Kepler had established that the cube of a planet's 
distance from the Sun divided by the square of its year always equaled a constant. By 
supplementing this with Huygens's formula for centrifugal acceleration and making some 
substitutions, you can obtain the inverse square relationship. This issue is settled in the appendices 
to The Science of Christian Economy [by Lyndon LaRouche, Washington, D.C.: Schiller 
Institute, 1991]. But the partisans of Newton still claim that Newton explained gravity. 

By opening the lid of the box, we find that Newton himself confesses, in an unpublished note, that 



his great achievement was cribbed from Kepler. Newton wrote: ". . .1 began to think of gravity 
extending to the Orb of the Moon and (having found out how to estimate the force with which a 
globe revolving presses the surface of a sphere) from Kepler's rule of the periodical times of the 
Planets being in sesquialterate proportion of their distances from the center of their Orbs, I 
deduced that the forces which keep the Planets in their Orbs must be reciprocally as the squares of 
their distances from the centers about which they revolve. . . ." (Westfall, 143). Newton "arrived at 
the inverse square relation by substituting Kepler's Third Law into Huygens's recently published 
formula for centrifugal force" (Westfall, 402). Hooke and Sir Christopher Wren claimed to have 
done the same thing at about the same time. 

Newton's love of alchemy and magic surfaces as the basis of his outlook, including in his 
supposed scientific writings. In his "Opticks," he asks, "Have not the small particles of bodies 
certain powers, virtues, or forces, by which they act at a distance. . . . How those attractions may 
be performed, I do not here consider. What I call attraction may be performed by Impulse, or 
some other means unknown to me." This is Newton's notion of gravity as action at a distance, 
which Leibniz rightly mocked as black magic. Newton's system was unable to describe anything 
beyond the interaction of two bodies, and supposed an entropic universe that would have wound 
down like clockwork if not periodically re-wound. Newton also wrote of an electric spirit, and of 
a mysterious medium he called the ether. What the basis of these is in alchemy is not clear. 

Then there is the story of Newton's invention of the calculus. In reality, Newton never in his 
entire life described a calculus. He never had one. What he cooked up was a theory of so-called 
fluxions and infinite series. This was not a calculus and quickly sank into oblivion when it was 
published nine years after Newton's death. By 1710, European scientists had been working with 
Leibniz's calculus for several decades. It was about that time that Newton and the British Royal 
Society launched their campaign to claim that Newton had actually invented the calculus in 1671, 
although for some strange reason he had never said anything about it in public print during a 
period of 30 years. This was supplemented by a second allegation, that Leibniz was a plagiarist 
who had copied his calculus from Newton after some conversations and letters exchanged 
between the two during the 1670s. These slanders against Leibniz were written up by Newton and 
put forward in 1715 as the official verdict of the British Royal Society. The same line was churned 
out by scurrilous hack writers directed by Newton. But scientists in continental Europe, and 
especially the decisive French Academy of Sciences, were not at all convinced by Newton's case. 
Newton's reputation on the continent was at best modest, and certainly not exalted. There was 
resistance against Newton in England, with a hard core of 20-25% of anti-Newton feeling within 
the Royal Society itself. How then did the current myth of Newton the scientist originate? 
NEWTON: THE APOTHEOSIS OF A CHARLATAN 

The apotheosis of Newton was arranged by Antonio Conti of Venice, the center of our third 
grouping of the dead souls faction. In order to create the myth of Newton as the great modern 
scientist, Conti was obliged to do what might well have been considered impossible at the time: to 
create a pro-British party in France. Conti succeeded, and stands as the founder of the 
Enlightenment, otherwise understood as the network of French Anglophiles. Those Frenchmen 
who were degraded enough to become Anglophiles would also be degraded enough to become 
Newtonians, and vice versa. The British had no network in Paris that could make this happen, but 



the Venetians did, thanks most recently to the work of such figures as Montaigne and Pierre 
Bayle. What the British could never have done, the Venetians accomplished for the greater glory 
of the Anglo- Venetian Party. 

Born in Padua in 1677, Conti was a patrician, a member of the Venetian nobility. He was a 
defrocked priest who had joined the Oratorian order, but then left it to pursue literary and 
scientific interests, including Galileo and Descartes. Conti was still an abbot. In 1713, Conti 
arrived in Paris. This was at the time of the Peace of Utrecht, the end of the long and very bitter 
War of the Spanish Succession, in which the British, the Dutch, and their allies had invaded, 
defeated, and weakened the France of Jean-Baptiste Colbert. Louis XIV had only two more years 
to live, after which the throne would go to a regent of the House of Orleans. 

In Paris, Conti built up a network centering on the philosopher Nicholas de Malebranche. He also 
worked closely with Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle, the permanent secretary of the French 
Academy of Sciences, still the premier research center in Europe. Conti saw immediately that 
Fontenelle was a follower of Giordano Bruno of the Ridotto Morosini. Conti become a celebrity 
in Paris, but he soon announced that he was growing tired to Descartes, the dominant figure on 
the French intellectual scene. Conti began telling the Paris salons that he was turning more and 
more to Newton and Leibniz. He began to call attention to the polemic between Newton and 
Leibniz. What a shame that these two eminent scientists were fighting each other! Perhaps these 
two outlooks could be reconciled. That would take a tactful mediator, an experienced man of the 
world. Since the English and the German scientists were at war, who better than an Italian, a 
Venetian, to come forward as mediator? Perhaps such a subtle Venetian could find a way to settle 
this nasty dispute about the calculus and propose a compromise platform for physics. 

A solar eclipse was in the offing, and Conti organized a group of French astronomers to go to 
London and observe it - probably the London fog would be helpful. With Conti' s help these 
Frenchmen would be turned, made members of the Royal Society, and when they got back to 
France, they would become the first French Anglophiles of the eighteenth century French 
Enlightenment. Before leaving Paris, Conti, with classical Venetian duplicity, wrote a very friendly 
letter to Leibniz, introducing himself as a supporter of Leibniz's philosophy. Conti claimed that he 
was going to London as a supporter of Leibniz, who would defend his cause in London just as he 
had done in Paris. By 1715, Leibniz's political perspectives were very grim, since his patroness, 
Sophie of Hanover, had died in May 1714. Leibniz was not going to become prime minister of 
England, because the new British king was Georg Ludwig of Hanover, King George I. 

When Conti got to London, he began to act as a diabolical agent provocateur. Turning on his 
magnetism, he charmed Newton. Newton was impressed by his guest and began to let his hair 
down. Conti told Newton that he had been trained as a Cartesian. "I was myself, when young, a 
Cartesian," said the sage wistfully, and then added that Cartesian philosophy was nothing but a 
"tissue of hypotheses," and of course Newton would never tolerate hypotheses. Newton 
confessed that he had understood nothing of his first astronomy book, after which he tried a 
trigonometry book with equal failure. But he could understand Descartes very well. With the 
ground thus prepared, Conti was soon a regular dinner guest at Newton's house. He seems to 
have dined with Newton on the average three evenings per week. Conti also had extensive 



contacts with Edmond Halley, with Newton's anti-Trinitarian parish priest Samuel Clarke, and 
other self-styled scientists. Conti also became friendly with Princess Caroline, the Princess of 
Wales, who had been an ally of Leibniz. Conti became very popular at the British court, and by 
November 1715 he was inducted by Newton as a member of the Royal Society. 

Conti understood that Newton, kook that he was, represented the ideal cult figure for a new 
obscurantist concoction of deductive- inductive pseudo mathematical formalism masquerading as 
science. Thanks to the Venetians, Italy had Galileo, and France had Descartes. Conti might have 
considered concocting a pseudo scientific ideology for the English based on Descartes, but that 
clearly would not do, since Venice desired to use England above all as a tool to tear down France 
with endless wars. Venice needed an English Galileo, and Conti provided the intrigue and the 
public relations needed to produce one, in a way not so different from Paolo Sarpi a century 
before. 

THE LEIBNIZ-NEWTON CONTEST 

Conti received a letter from Leibniz repeating that Newton had never mastered the calculus, and 
attacking Newton for his occult notion of gravitation, his insistence on the existence of atoms and 
the void, his inductive method. Whenever Conti got a letter from Leibniz, he would show it to 
Newton, to stoke the fires of Newton's obsessive rage to destroy Leibniz. During this time, 
Newton's friend Samuel Clarke began an exchange of letters with Leibniz about these and related 
issues. (Voltaire later remarked of Clarke that he would have made an ideal Archbishop of 
Canterbury if only he had been a Christian.) Leibniz wrote that natural religion itself was decaying 
in England, where many believe human souls to be material, and others view God as a corporeal 
being. Newton said that space is an organ, which God uses to perceive things. Newton and his 
followers also had a very odd opinion concerning the work of God. According to their doctrine, 
"God Almighty wants to wind up his watch from time to time; otherwise, it would cease to move. 
He had not, it seems, sufficient foresight to make it a perpetual motion." This gave rise to the 
Leibniz-Clarke correspondence, in which we can also see the hand of Conti. By now, the 
chameleon Conti was a total partisan of Newton's line of atoms and the void, the axioms of 
Newtonian absolute space. "If there were no void," wrote Conti, "all bodies would be equally 
heavy and the comets could not pass through heavenly spaces. . . . M. Leibniz has written his 
speech to Princess [Caroline], and he presents the world not as it is, but as it could be." (Badaloni, 
Antonio Conti, 63). 

Newton tried to get the ambassadors of the London diplomatic corps to review his old 
manuscripts and letters, hoping they would endorse the finding of the Royal Society that Leibniz 
had plagiarized his calculus. Leibniz had pointed out that the Royal Society had stacked the 
evidence. Conti used this matter to turn George I more and more against Leibniz. Conti organized 
the Baron von Kilmansegge, the Hanoverian minister and husband of George I's mistress, to take 
the position that the review of documents would not be enough; the only way to decide the 
Leibniz-Newton controversy was through a direct exchange of letters between the two. King 
George agreed with this. Conti encouraged Newton to make a full reply to Leibniz, so that both 
letters could be shown to the king. When he heard Newton's version, the king indicated that 
Newton's facts would be hard for Leibniz to answer. 



Conti tried to convince Leibniz to accept the 1715 verdict of the Royal Society which had given 
credit for the calculus to Newton. In return, to sweeten this galling proposal, Conti generously 
conceded that Leibniz's calculus was easier to use and more widely accepted. By now Leibniz 
was well aware that he was dealing with an enemy operative, but Leibniz died on Nov. 4, 1716, a 
few days before Conti arrived in Hanover to meet him. Newton received word of the death of his 
great antagonist through a letter from Conti. 
CONTI' S DEPLOYMENT TO FRANCE 

Thanks to Conti's intervention as agent provocateur, Newton had received immense publicity and 
had become a kind of succes de scandale. The direct exchange mandated by George I suggested 
to some an equivalence of Leibniz and Newton. But now Conti's most important work was just 
beginning. Leibniz was still held in high regard in all of continental Europe, and the power of 
France was still immense. Conti and the Venetians wished to destroy both. In the Leibniz -Newton 
contest, Conti had observed that while the English sided with Newton and the Germans with 
Leibniz, the French, Italians, Dutch, and other continentals wavered, but still had great sympathy 
for Leibniz. These powers would be the decisive swing factors in the epistemological war. In 
particular, the attitude which prevailed in France, the greatest European power, would be 
decisive. Conti now sought to deliver above all France, plus Italy, into the Newtonian camp. 

Conti was in London between 1715 and 1718. His mission to France lasted from 1718 through 
1726. Its result will be called the French Enlightenment, L'Age des Lumieres. The first 
components activated by Conti for the new Newtonian party in France were the school and 
followers of Malebranche, who died in 1715. The Malebranchistes first accepted Newton's 
Opticks, and claimed to have duplicated Newton's experiments, something no Frenchman had 
done until this time. Here Conti was mobilizing the Malebranche network he had assembled 
before going to London. Conti used his friendship with Fontenelle, the secretary of the French 
Academy of Sciences, to secure his benevolent neutrality regarding Newton. Conti's other friends 
included Mairan, Reaumur, Freret, and Desmolets. 

During the late teens and '20s in Paris, an important salon met at the Hotel de Rohan, the 
residence of one of the greatest families of the French nobility. This family was aligned with 
Venice; later, we will find the Cardinal-Prince de Rohan as the sponsor of the Venetian agent 
Count Cagliostro. The librarian at the Hotel de Rohan was a certain Abbe Oliva. Oliva presided 
over a Venetian-style conversazione attended by Conti, his Parisian friends, and numerous 
Italians. This was already a circle of freethinkers and libertines. 

In retrospect, the best known of the participants was Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de la 
Brede et de Montesquieu. Montesquieu, before Voltaire, Rousseau, and the Encyclopedia, was 
the first important figure of the French Enlightenment - more respectable than Voltaire and 
Rousseau - and the leading theoretician of political institutions. Conti met Montesquieu at the 
Hotel de Rohan, and at another salon, the Club de l'Entresol. Later, when Conti had returned to 
Venice, Montesquieu came to visit him there, staying a month. Montesquieu was an agent for 
Conti. 

Montesquieu's major work is The Spirit of the Laws, published in 1748. This is a work of 



decidedly Venetian flavor, with republic, monarchy, and despotism as the three forms of 
government, and a separation of powers doctrine. Montesquieu appears to have taken many of his 
ideas from Conti, who wrote a profile of France called "Historical and Political Discourse on the 
State of France between 1700 and 1730." In his treatise, Montesquieu points out that France has 
an independent judiciary, the parlements, which became a main focus for Anglo -Venetian 
destabilization efforts going toward the French Revolution. 

Montesquieu raises the theme of Anglophilia, praising Britain's allegedly constitutional monarchy 
as the ideal form. With this, the pro-British bent of Conti's Enlightenment philosophes is 
established. The ground is being prepared for Newton. 
ANOTHER CONTI AGENT: VOLTAIRE 

One of Conti's other friends from the Hotel de Rohan was a Jesuit called Toumemine, who was 
also a high school teacher. One of his most incorrigible pupils had been a libertine jailbird named 
Francois-Marie Arouet, who was so stubborn and headstrong that his parents had always called 
him "le volontaire," meaning self-willed. Gradually this was shortened to Voltaire. 

French literary historians are instinctively not friendly to the idea that the most famous Frenchman 
was a Venetian agent working for Conti, but the proof is convincing. Voltaire knew both Conti 
personally and Conti's works. Conti is referred to a number of times in Voltaire's letters. In one 
letter, Voltaire admiringly shares an anecdote about Conti and Newton. Voltaire asks, should we 
try to find the proof of the existence of God in an algebraic formula on one of the most obscure 
points in dynamics? He cites Conti in a similar situation with Newton: "You're about to get angry 
with me," says Conti to Newton, "but I don't care." I agree with Conti, says Voltaire, that all 
geometry can give us are about forty useful theorems. Beyond that, it's nothing more than a 
fascinating subject, provided you don't let metaphysics creep in. 

Voltaire also relates Conti's version of the alleged Spanish conspiracy against Venice in 1618, 
which was supposedly masterminded by the Spanish ambassador to Venice, Count Bedmar. 
Conti's collected works and one of his tragedies are in Voltaire's library, preserved at the 
Hermitage in St. Petersburg. 

The book which made Voltaire famous was his Philosophical Letters, sometimes called the 
English letters, because they are devoted to the exaltation of all things British, which Voltaire had 
observed during his three years in London. In the essay on Shakespeare, Voltaire writes that 
Shakespeare is considered the Corneille of England. This is a quote from Conti, taken from the 
head note to Conti's tragedy Giulio Cesare, which had been published in Paris in 1726. Voltaire's 
view of Shakespeare as sometimes inspired, but barbarous and "crazy" for not respecting French 
theatrical conventions, is close to Conti's own practice. We can thus associate Conti with 
Voltaire's first important breakthrough, and the point where Anglophilia becomes Anglomania in 
France. 

But most important, Voltaire's Philosophical Letters center on the praise of Newton. After 
chapters on Francis Bacon and John Locke, there are four chapters on Newton, the guts of the 
work. For Voltaire, Newton was the first discoverer of the calculus, the dismantler of the entire 



Cartesian system. His "sublime ideas" and discoveries have given him "the most universal 
reputation." Voltaire also translated Newton directly, and published Elements of Newtonian 
Philosophy. 

The Philosophical Letters were condemned and Voltaire had to hide in the libertine underground 
for a time. He began to work on another book, The Century of Louis XIV. The idea here was 
simple: to exalt Louis XIV as a means of attacking the current king, Louis XV, by comparison. 
This was an idea that we can also find in Conti's manuscripts. Louis XV was, of course, a main 
target of the Anglo -Venetians. 

In 1759, Voltaire published his short novel Candide, a distillation of Venetian cultural pessimism 
expressed as a raving attack on Leibniz, through the vicious caricature Dr. Pangloss. Toward the 
end of the story, Candide asks Pangloss: "Tell me, my dear Pangloss, when you were hanged, 
dissected, cruelly beaten, and forced to row in a galley, did you still think that everything was for 
the best in this world?" "I still hold my original opinions, replied Pangloss, because after all, I'm a 
philosopher, and it wouldn't be proper for me to recant, since Leibniz cannot be wrong, and since 
pre-established harmony is the most beautiful thing in the world, along with the plenum and subtle 
matter." When Candide visits Venice, he meets Senator Pococurante, whom he considers a great 
genius because everything bores him and nothing pleases him. Senator Pococurante is clearly a 
figure of Abbot Antonio Conti. Conti was, we must remember, the man whom Voltaire quoted 
admiringly in his letter cited above telling Newton that he didn't care - non me ne euro, perhaps, 
in Italian. Among Conti's masks was certainly that of worldly boredom. 

Conti later translated one of Voltaire's plays, Merope, into Italian. 
CONTI AND THE FRENCH REVOLUTION 

Conti's discussion of the supremacy of the sense of touch when it comes to sense certainty is 
echoed in the writing of the philosopher Condillac. Echoes of Conti have been found by some in 
Diderot's Jacques the Fatalist. And then there is Buffon, who published Newton's book on 
fluxions in French. More research is likely to demonstrate that most of the ideas of the French 
Enlightenment come from the Venetian Conti. The creation of a pro- Newton, anti-Leibniz party 
of French Anglo maniacs was a decisive contribution to the defeat of France in the mid-century 
world war we call the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War, which gave 
Britain world naval supremacy, and world domination. Conti's work was also the basis for the 
later unleashing of the French Revolution. In the epistemological war, the French Newtonians 
were indispensable for the worldwide consolidation of the Newton myth. In Italy, there were 
Venetian writers like Voltaire's friend Algarotti, the author of a book of Newtonian Philosophy 
for Ladies. Newton's ideas were also spread by Abbot Guido Grandi, who labored to rehabilitate 
Galileo inside the Catholic Church. Another Italian intellectual in Conti's orbit was Gimbattista 
Vico, later popularized by Benedetto Croce. The main point is that only with the help of Venice 
could the senile cultist kook Newton attain worldwide respect. 

Conti was active until mid-century; he died in 1749. In Venice he became the central figure of a 
salon that was the worthy heir of Ridotto Morosini. This was the sinister coven that called itself 
the philosophical happy conversazione ("la conversazione filosofica e felice") that gathered 



patrician families like the Emo, the Nani, the Querini, the Memmo, and the Giustinian. These were 
libertines, freethinkers, Satanists. We are moving toward the world portrayed in Schiller's 
Geisterseher. After Conti's death, the dominant figure was Andrea Memmo, one of the leaders of 
European Freemasonry. 

An agent shared by Memmo with the Morosini family was one Giacomo Casanova, a homosexual 
who was backed up by a network of lesbians. Venetian oligarchs turned to homosexuality because 
of their obsession with keeping the family fortune intact by guaranteeing that there would only be 
one heir to inherit it; by this time more than two- thirds of male nobles, and an even higher 
percentage of female nobles, never married. Here we have the roots of Henry Kissinger's modern 
Homintern. Casanova's main task was to target the French King Louis XV through his sexual 
appetites. There is good reason to believe that Louis XV's foreign minister De Bernis, who 
carried out the diplomatic revolution of 1756, was an agent of Casanova. One may speculate that 
Casanova's networks had something to do with the approximately 25 assassination plots against 
Louis XV. Finally, Louis XV banned Casanova from France with a lettre de cachet. 

Another agent of this group was Count Cagliostro, a charlatan and mountebank whose targets 
were Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, whom he destabilized through their own folly in the 
celebrated Queen's Necklace Affair of 1785. Cagliostro was able to make Louis and especially 
Marie Antoinette personally hated, a necessary precondition for mass insurrection against them. 
Emperor Napoleon later said that this operation by Cagliostro had marked the opening phase of 
the French Revolution of 1789. 
CONTI'S LEGACY OF EVIL 

Another member of the Conti-Memmo conversazione was Giammaria Ortes, who had been taught 
Newton by Conti personally, as well as by Grandi. Ortes was another defrocked cleric operating 
as an abbot. Ortes is the author of a manual of Newtonian physics for young aristocrats, including 
a chapter on electricity which manages to avoid Benjamin Franklin, in the same way that Galileo 
avoided Kepler. Ortes carried out Conti's program of applying Newtonian methods to the social 
sciences. This meant that everything had to be expressed in numbers. Ortes was like the 
constipated mathematician who worked his problem out with a pencil. He produced a calculus on 
the value of opinions, a calculus of the pleasures and pains of human life, a calculus of the truth of 
history. This is the model for Jeremy Bentham's felicific or hedonistic calculus and other writings. 
Using these methods, Ortes posited an absolute upper limit for the human population of the Earth, 
which he set at 3 billion. This is the first appearance of carrying capacity. Ortes was adamant that 
there had never been and could never be an improvement in the living standard of the Earth's 
human population. He argued that government intervention, as supported by the Cammeralist 
school of Colbert, Franklin, and others, could never do any good. Ortes provided all of the 
idea-content that is found in Thomas Malthus, Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, the two Mills, and 
the rest of Lord Shelburne's school of British philosophical radicalism in the time after 1775. 

Conti has left a commentary on Plato's Parmenides, which he interprets as Plato's self- criticism 
for the mistake of having made ideas themselves the object of philosophical attention. In his 
Treatise on Ideas, Conti writes that the fundamental error of Plato is to attribute real existence to 
human ideas. All our ideas come from sense perceptions, says Conti. 



In 1735 Conti was denounced to the Venetian Inquisition because of his reported religious ideas. 
Conti was accused of denying the existence of God. True to his factional pedigree, Conti also 
denied the immortality of the human soul. Conti reportedly said of the soul: "Since it is united 
with a material body and mixed up with matter, the soul perished with the body itself." Conti got 
off with the help of his patrician aristocrat friends. He commented that God is something that we 
cannot know about, and jokingly confessed his ignorance. He even compared himself to Cardinal 
Nicolaus of Cusa. Conti described his own atheism as merely a version of the docta ignorantia 
[referring to Cusa's book by the same name, On Learned Ignorance]. But this Senatore 
Pococurante still lives in every classroom where Newton is taught. 

Surely it is time for an epistemological revolution to roll back the Venetian frauds of Galileo, 
Newton, and Bertrand Russell. 
BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTES 

On the general thesis involving Contarini as the instigator of the reformation and counter- 
reformation, Sarpi and the Giovani as the organizers of the Enlightenment, and the post-Cambrai 
metastasis of the Venetian fondi to England and elsewhere, see Webster G. Tarpley, "The 
Venetian Conspiracy" in "Campaigner" XIV, 6 September 1981, pp. 22-46. 

On Leonardo da Vinci and the origins of the telescope, see the work of Domenico Argentieri. 

On Sarpi: The most essential works of Sarpi's epistemology are the Pensieri and the Arte di Ben 
Pensare. They are available only in Italian as Fra Paolo Sarpi, "Scritti Filosofici e teologici" (Bari: 
Laterza, 1951). But this collection is not complete, and many pensieri and other material remain in 
manuscript in the libraries of Venice. Other works of Sarpi are assembled in his "Opere," edited 
by Gaetano and Luisa Cozzi. There is some discussion of the pensieri in David Wooton, "Paolo 
Sarpi: Between Renaissance and Enlightenment" (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). An 
overview of the Galileo-Sarpi relationship is found in Gaetano Cozzi, "Paolo Sarpi tra Venezia e 
l'Europa" (Torino: Einaudi, 1979); Cozzi avoids most of the implications of the material he 
presents. 

On Galileo: Pietro Redondi, "Galileo: Heretic" (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987) has 
material on the political background of Galileo's relations with the papacy and the holy orders of 
the day. The Galileo-Kepler correspondence is in Galileo's 20 volume "Opere," edited by A. 
Favaro and I. DelLungo (Florence, 1929-1939). 

On Kepler: The standard biography is Max Caspar, "Kepler" (London: Abelard-Schuman, 1959). 
Some of Kepler's main works are now in English, including "The Secret of the Universe" 
translated by A.M. Duncan (New York: Abaris Books, 1981); and "New Astronomy" translated 
by William H. Donahue (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992). 

On Conti: A recent biography is Nicola Badaloni, "Antonio Conti: Un abate libero pensatore fra 
Newton e Voltaire (Milano: Feltrinelli, 1968). Selections from Conti's many manuscript works 
which are found in libraries especially in and near Venice are in Nicola Badaloni (ed.), "Antonio 
Conti: Scritti filosofici" (Naples: Fulvio Rossi, 1972). For Conti as the teacher of Ortes, and on 



Ortes as a popularizer of Newton see Mauro di Lisa, '"Chi mi sa dir s'io fingo?': Newtonianesimo 
e scetticismo in Giammaria Ortes" in "Giornale Critico della filosofia italiana" LXVII (1988), pp. 
221-233. For the Conti- Oliva- Montesquieu Paris salons, see Robert Shackleton, "Montesquieu: 
a critical biography." Voltaire's "Candide" and "Philosophical Letters" are available in various 
English language editions. For Voltaire's references to Conti, see "Voltaire's Correspondence," 
edited in many volumes by Theodore Besterman (Geneva- Les Delices: Institut et Musee Voltaire, 
1964). Note that Voltaire also had extensive correspondence and relations with Algarotti. For 
Voltaire's possession of Conti's books, see the catalogue of Voltaire's library now conserved in 
Leningrad published by the Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1961, p. 276. Gustave Lanson is an 
example of French literary critics who stubbornly avoid the obvious facts of Conti's piloting of 
Voltaire; see his edition of Voltaire's "Lettres philosophiques" (Paris, 1917), vol. II p. 90. 

On Newton: Lord Keynes's revelations on Newton's box are in his "Essays in Biography" (New 
York: Norton, 1963), pp. 310-323. Louis Trenchard More, "Isaac Newton: A Biography (New 
York: Dover, 1962) includes a small sampling of material from Newton's box. Richard S. 
Westfall, "Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton" (New York, Cambridge University 
Press, 1987) dips somewhat deeper into the box and supplies the green lion quotes, but still tries 
to defend the hoax of Newton as a scientist. For the typical lying British view of the 
Newton-Leibniz controversy, see A. Rupert Hall, "Philosophers at War" (Cambridge: Cambridge 
University Press). See Leibniz's letters for what really happened. 

Venice's War Against Western Civilization 

Appeared in Fidelio, Summer 1995 

The British royal family of today typifies the Venetian Party, and continues the outlook and 
methods of an oligarchical faction which can be traced far back into the ancient world. 
Oligarchism is a principle of irrational domination associated with hereditary oligarchy/ nobility 
and with certain aristocratic priesthoods. At the center of oligarchy is the idea that certain families 
are born to rule as an arbitrary elite, while the vast majority of any given population is condemned 
to oppression, serfdom, or slavery. During most of the past 2,500 years, oligarchs have been 
identified by their support for the philosophical writings of Aristotle and their rejection of the 
epistemology of Plato. Aristotle asserted that slavery is a necessary institution, because some are 
born to rule and others to be ruled. He also reduced the question of human knowledge to the 
crudest sense certainty and perception of "facts." Aristotle's formalism is a means of killing 
human creativity, and therefore represents absolute evil. This evil is expressed by the bestialist 
view of the oligarchs that human beings are the same as animals. 

Oligarchs identify wealth purely in money, and practice usury, monetarism, and looting at the 
expense of technological advancement and physical production. Oligarchs have always been 
associated with the arbitrary rejection of true scientific discovery and scientific method in favor of 
open anti-science or more subtle obscurantist pseudo-science. The oligarchy has believed for 
millennia that the earth is overpopulated; the oligarchical commentary on the Trojan War was that 
this conflict was necessary in order to prevent greater numbers of mankind from oppressing 
"Mother Earth." The oligarchy has constantly stressed race and racial characteristics, often as a 



means for justifying slavery. In international affairs, oligarchs recommend such methods as 
geopolitics, understood as the method of divide and conquer which lets one power prevail by 
playing its adversaries one against the other. Oligarchical policy strives to maintain a balance of 
power among such adversaries for its own benefit, but this attempt always fails in the long run and 
leads to new wars. 

The essence of oligarchism is summed up in the idea of the empire, in which an elite identifying 
itself as a master race rules over a degraded mass of slaves or other oppressed victims. If 
oligarchical methods are allowed to dominate human affairs, they always create a breakdown 
crisis of civilization, with economic depression, war, famine, plague, and pestilence. Examples of 
this are the fourteenth century Black Plague crisis and the Thirty Years War (1618-48), both of 
which were created by Venetian intelligence. The post- industrial society and the derivatives crisis 
have brought about the potential for a new collapse of civilization in our own time. This crisis can 
only be reversed by repudiating in practice the axioms of the oligarchical mentality. 

A pillar of the oligarchical system is the family fortune, or fondo as it is called in Italian. The 
continuity of the family fortune which earns money through usury and looting is often more 
important than the biological continuity across generations of the family that owns the fortune. In 
Venice, the largest fondo was the endowment of the Basilica of St. Mark, which was closely 
associated with the Venetian state treasury, and which absorbed the family fortunes of nobles who 
died without heirs. This fondo was administered by the procurers of St. Mark, whose position was 
one of the most powerful under the Venetian system. Around this central fondo were grouped the 
individual family fortunes of the great oligarchical families, such as the Mocenigo, the Cornaro, 
the Dandolo, the Contarini, the Morosini, the Zorzi, and the Tron. Until the end of the eighteenth 
century, the dozen or so wealthiest Venetian families had holdings comparable or superior to the 
very wealthiest families anywhere in Europe. When the Venetian oligarchy transferred many of its 
families and assets to northern Europe, the Venetian fondi provided the nucleus of the great Bank 
of Amsterdam, which dominated Europe during the seventeenth century, and of the Bank of 
England, which became the leading bank of the eighteenth century. 

ORIGINS OF THE VENETIAN PARTY IN THE ANCIENT WORLD 

In the pre-Christian world around the Mediterranean, oligarchical political forces included 
Babylon in Mesopotamia. The "whore of Babylon" condemned in the Apocalypse of St. John the 
Divine is not a mystical construct, but a very specific power cartel of evil oligarchical families. 
Other oligarchical centers included Hiram of Tyre and the Phoenicians. The Persian Empire was 
an oligarchy. In the Greek world, the center of oligarchical banking and intelligence was the 
Temple of Apollo at Delphi, whose agents included Lycurgus of Sparta and later Aristotle. The 
Delphic Apollo tried and failed to secure the conquest of Greece by the Persian Empire. Then the 
Delphic Apollo developed the Isocrates plan, which called for King Philip of Macedonia to 
conquer Athens and the other great city-states so as to set up an oligarchical empire that would 
operate as a western version of the Persian Empire. This plan failed when Philip died, and the 
Platonic Academy of Athens decisively influenced Alexander the Great, who finally destroyed the 
Persian Empire before being assassinated by Aristotle. Later, the Delphic Apollo intervened into 
the wars between Rome and the Etruscan cities to make Rome the key power of Italy and then of 



the entire Mediterranean. 

Rome dominated the Mediterranean by about 200 BC. There followed a series of civil wars that 
aimed at deciding where the capital of the new empire would be and who would be the ruling 
family. These are associated with the Social War, the conflict between Marius and Sulla, the first 
Triumvirate (Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, and L. Crassus), and the second Triumvirate 
(Octavian, Marc Antony, and Lepidus). Marc Antony and Cleopatra wanted the capital of the new 
empire to be at Alexandria in Egypt. Octavian (Augustus) secured an alliance with the cult of Sol 
Invictus Mithra and became emperor, defeating the other contenders. After the series of monsters 
called the Julian-Claudian emperors (Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, etc.) the empire stagnated between 
80 and 180 AD under such figures as Hadrian and Trajan. Then, between 180 and 280 AD, the 
empire collapsed. It was reorganized by Aurelian, Diocletian, and Constantine with a series of 
measures that centered on banning any change in the technology of the means of production, and 
very heavy taxation. The Diocletian program led to the depopulation of the cities, serfdom for 
farmers, and the collapse of civilization into a prolonged Dark Age. 

The Roman Empire in the West finally collapsed in 476 AD. But the Roman Empire in the East, 
sometimes called the Byzantine Empire, continued for almost a thousand years, until 1453. And if 
the Ottoman Empire is considered as the Ottoman dynasty of an ongoing Byzantine Empire, then 
the Byzantine Empire kept going until shortly after World War I. With certain exceptions, the 
ruling dynasties of Byzantium continued the oligarchical policy of Diocletian and Constantine. 

Venice, the city built on islands in the lagoons and marshes of the northern Adriatic Sea, is 
supposed to have been founded by refugees from the Italian mainland who were fleeing from 
Attila the Hun in 452 AD. Early on, Venice became the location of a Benedictine monastery on 
the island of St. George Major. St. George is not a Christian saint, but rather a disguise for 
Apollo, Perseus, and Marduk, idols of the oligarchy. Around 700 AD, the Venetians claim to have 
elected their first doge, or duke. This post was not hereditary, but was controlled by an election in 
which only the nobility could take part. For this reason, Venice erroneously called itself a 
republic. 

In the years around 800 AD, Charlemagne, King of the Franks, using the ideas of St. Augustine, 
attempted to revive civilization from the Dark Ages. Venice was the enemy of Charlemagne. 
Charlemagne's son, King Pepin of Italy, tried unsuccessfully to conquer the Venetian lagoon. 
Charlemagne was forced to recognize Venice as a part of the eastern or Byzantine Empire, under 
the protection of the Emperor Nicephorus. Venice was never a part of western civilization. 

Over the next four centuries, Venice developed as a second capital of the Byzantine Empire 
through marriage alliances with certain Byzantine dynasties and conflicts with the Holy Roman 
Empire based in Germany. The Venetian economy grew through usury and slavery. By 1082, the 
Venetians had tax-free trading rights in the entire Byzantine Empire. The Venetians were one of 
the main factors behind the Crusades against the Muslim power in the eastern Mediterranean. In 
the Fourth Crusade of 1202 AD, the Venetians used an army of French feudal knights to capture 
and loot Constantinople, the Orthodox Christian city which was the capital of the Byzantine 
Empire. The Venetian doge Enrico Dandolo was declared the lord of one-quarter and one-half of 



one-quarter of the Byzantine Empire, and the Venetians imposed a short-lived puppet state called 
the Latin Empire. By this point, Venice had replaced Byzantium as the bearer of the oligarchical 
heritage of the Roman Empire. 

During the 1200?s, the Venetians, now at the apex of their military and naval power, set out to 
create a new Roman Empire with its center at Venice. They expanded into the Greek islands, the 
Black Sea, and the Italian mainland. They helped to defeat the Hohenstaufen rulers of Germany 
and Italy. Venetian intelligence assisted Genghis Khan as he attacked and wiped out powers that 
had resisted Venice. The Venetians caused the death of the poet and political figure Dante 
Alighieri, who developed the concept of the modern sovereign nation-state in opposition to the 
Venetian plans for empire. A series of wars with Genoa led later to the de facto merger of Venice 
and Genoa. The Venetian bankers, often called Lombards, began to loot many parts of Europe 
with usurious loans. Henry III of England in the years after 1255 became insolvent after taking 
huge Lombard loans to finance foreign wars at 120-180 percent interest. These transactions 
created the basis for the Venetian Party in England. When the Lombard bankers went bankrupt 
because the English failed to pay, a breakdown crisis of the European economy ensued. This led 
to a new collapse of European civilization, including the onset of the Black Plague, which 
depopulated the continent. In the midst of the chaos, the Venetians encouraged their ally Edward 
III of England to wage war against France in the conflict that became the Hundred Years War 
(1339-1453), which hurled France into chaos before St. Joan of Arc defeated the English. This 
was then followed by the Wars of the Roses in England. As a result of Venetian domination, the 
fourteenth century had become a catastrophe for civilization. 

In the midst of the crisis of the 1300?s, the friends of Dante and Petrarch laid the basis for the 
Italian Golden Renaissance, which reached its culmination with Nicolaus of Cusanus, Pope Pius 
II, and the Medici- sponsored Council of Florence of 1439. The Venetians fought the Renaissance 
with a policy of expansion on the Italian mainland, or terra firma, which brought them to the 
outskirts of Milan. More fundamentally, the Venetians promoted the pagan philosophy of 
Aristotle against the Christian Platonism of the Florentines. The school of the Rialto was an 
Aristotelian academy where Venetian patricians lectured and studied their favorite philosopher. 
Authors like Barbaro and Bembo popularized an Aristotelian "humanism." The University of 
Padua became the great European center for Aristotelian studies. 

Venice also encouraged the Ottoman Turks to advance against Constantinople, which was now 
controlled by the Paleologue dynasty of emperors. When Cusanus and his friends succeeded in 
reuniting the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox and other eastern churches at the Council 
of Florence, the Venetians tried to sabotage this result. The ultimate sabotage was the Ottoman 
conquest of Constantinople in 1453, which was assisted by Venetian agents and provocateurs. 
Venice refused to respond to Pope Pius II (Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini) when he called for the 
recovery of Constantinople. 

The program of Cusanus, Pius II, Machiavelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and other Italian Renaissance 
leaders for the creation of powerful national states proved impossible to carry out in Italy. The 
first nation-state was created in France by King Louis XI during the 1460?s and 1470?s. The 
successful nation-building methods of Louis XI compelled attention and imitation in England and 



Spain. Despite their incessant intrigues, the Venetians were now confronted with large national 
states whose military power greatly exceeded anything that Venice could mobilize. 

THE CRISIS OF THE WAR OF THE LEAGUE OF CAMBRAI, 1508-1529 

The Venetians tried to use the power of the new nation-states, especially France, to crush Milan 
and allow further Venetian expansion. But ambassadors for the king of France and the Austrian 
emperor met at Cambrai in December 1508 and agreed to create a European league for the 
dismemberment of Venice. The League of Cambrai soon included France, Spain, Germany, the 
Papacy, Milan, Florence, Savoy, Mantua, Ferrara, and others. At the battle of Agnadello in April 
1509, the Venetian mercenaries were defeated by the French, and Venice temporarily lost eight 
hundred years of land conquests. 

Venetian diplomacy played on the greed of the Genoese Pope Julius II Delia Rovere, who was 
bribed to break up the League of Cambrai. By rapid diplomatic maneuvers, Venice managed to 
survive, although foreign armies threatened to overrun the lagoons on several occasions, and the 
city was nearly bankrupt. Venice's long-term outlook was very grim, especially because the 
Portuguese had opened a route to Asia around the Cape of Good Hope. The Venetians 
considered building a Suez canal, but decided against it. 

REFORMATION AND COUNTER-REFORMATION 

One result of the Cambrai crisis was the decision of Venetian intelligence to create the Protestant 
Reformation. The goal was to divide Europe for one to two centuries in religious wars that would 
prevent any combination like the League of Cambrai from ever again being assembled against 
Venice. The leading figure of the Protestant Reformation, the first Protestant in modern Europe, 
was Venice's Cardinal Gasparo Contarini. Contarini was a pupil of the Padua Aristotelian Pietro 
Pomponazzi, who denied the immortality of the human soul. Contarini pioneered the Protestant 
doctrine of salvation by faith alone, with no regard for good works of charity. Contarini organized 
a group of Italian Protestants called gli spirituali, including oligarchs like Vittoria Colonna and 
Giulia Gonzaga. Contarini's networks encouraged and protected Martin Luther and later John 
Calvin of Geneva. Contarini sent his neighbor and relative Francesco Zorzi to England to support 
King Henry VIII's plan to divorce Catherine of Aragon. Zorzi acted as Henry's sex counselor. As 
a result, Henry created the Anglican Church on a Venetian- Byzantine model, and opened a phase 
of hostility to Spain. Henceforth, the Venetians would use England for attacks on Spain and 
France. Zorzi created a Rosicrucian- Freemasonic party at the English court that later produced 
writers like Edmund Spenser and Sir Philip Sydney. 

Contarini was also the leader of the Catholic Counter- Reformation. He sponsored St. Ignatius of 
Loyola and secured papal approval for the creation of the Society of Jesus as an official order of 
the Church. Contarini also began the process of organizing the Council of Trent with a letter on 
church reform that praised Aristotle while condemning Erasmus, the leading Platonist of the day. 
The Venetians dominated the college of cardinals and created the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, 
which banned works by Dante and Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Pope Pius II). 



As the Counter- Reformation advanced, the Contarini networks split into two wings. One was the 
pro-Protestant spirituali, who later evolved into the party of the Venetian oligarchy called the 
giovani, and who serviced growing networks in France, Holland, England, and Scotland. On the 
other wing were the zelanti, oriented toward repression and the Inquisition, and typified by Pope 
Paul IV Caraffa. The zelanti evolved into the oligarchical party called the vecchi, who serviced 
Venetian networks in the Vatican and the Catholic Hapsburg dominions. The apparent conflict of 
the two groups was orchestrated to serve Venetian projects. 

During the decades after 1570, the salon of the Ridotto Morosini family was the focus of heirs of 
the pro-Protestant wing of the Contarini spirituali networks. These were the giovani, whose 
networks were strongest in the Atlantic powers of France, England, Holland, and Scotland. The 
central figure here was the Servite monk Paolo Sarpi, assisted by his deputy, Fulgenzio Micanzio. 
Sarpi was the main Venetian propagandist in the struggle against the papacy during the time of 
the papal interdict against Venice in 1606. Sarpi and Micanzio were in close touch with the Stuart 
court in London, and especially with Sir Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes, who got their ideas 
from Sarpi's Pensieri (Thoughts) and Arte di Ben Pensare (Art of Thinking Well). Sarpi's agents 
in Prague, Heidelberg, and Vienna deliberately organized the Thirty Years War, which killed half 
the population of Germany and one-third of the population of Europe. 

Sarpi also marks a turning point in the methods used by Venetian intelligence to combat science. 
Under Zorzi and Contarini, the Venetians had been openly hostile to Cusanus and other leading 
scientists. Sarpi realized that the Venetians must now present themselves as the great champions 
of science, but on the basis of Aristotelian formalism and sense certainty. By seizing control of the 
scientific community from the inside, the Venetians could corrupt scientific method and strangle 
the process of discovery. Sarpi sponsored and directed the career of Galileo Galilei, whom the 
Venetians used for an empiricist counterattack against the Platonic method of Johannes Kepler. 

GROWTH OF THE VENETIAN PARTY 

During the 1600?s, the Venetian fondi were transferred north, often to the Bank of Amsterdam, 
and later to the newly founded Bank of England. During the reign of "Bloody Mary," the Stuart 
period, the civil war in England, the dictatorship of Cromwell, the Stuart Restoration, and the 
1688 installation of William of Orange as King of England by the pro-Venetian English oligarchy, 
the Venetian Party of England grew in power. 

During the first half of the 1700?s, the most important activities of Venetian intelligence were 
directed by a salon called the conversazione filosofica e felice, which centered around the figure of 
Antonio Schinella Conti. Conti was a Venetian nobleman, originally a follower of Descartes, who 
lived for a time in Paris, where he was close to Malebranche. Conti went to London where he 
became a friend of Sir Isaac Newton. Conti directed the operations that made Newton an 
international celebrity, including especially the creation of a pro-Newton party of French 
Anglophiles and Anglomaniacs who came to be known as the French Enlightenment. Conti's 
agents in this effort included Montesquieu and Voltaire. Conti was also active in intrigues against 
the German philosopher, scientist, and economist Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, whom Conti 
portrayed as a plagiarist of Newton. Conti also influenced Georg Ludwig of Hanover, later King 



George I of England, against Leibniz. 

The Conti conversazione was also sponsored by the Emo and Memmo oligarchical families. 
Participants included Giammaria Ortes, the Venetian economist who asserted that the carrying 
capacity of the planet Earth could never exceed three billion persons. Ortes was a student of the 
pro-Galileo activist Guido Grandi of Pisa. Ortes applied Newton's method to the so-called social 
sciences. Ortes denied the possibility of progress or higher standards of living, supported free 
trade, opposed dirigist economics, and polemicized against the ideas of the American Revolution. 
The ideas of Conti, Ortes, and their network were brought into Great Britain under the 
supervision of William Petty, the Earl of Shelburne, who was the de facto Doge of the British 
oligarchy around the time of the American Revolution. The Shelburne stable of writers, including 
Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, Thomas Malthus, James Mill, John Stuart Mill, Charles Darwin, 
and other exponents of British philosophical radicalism, all take their main ideas from Conti and 
especially Ortes. 

Francesco Algarotti, author of a treatise on "Newtonian Science for Ladies," was another 
Venetian in the orbit of the Conti conversazione. Algarotti was close to Voltaire, and along with 
the French scientist Pierre Louis de Maupertuis he helped form the homosexual harem around 
British ally Frederick the Great of Prussia. Frederick the Great was Britain's principal continental 
ally during the Seven Years War against France, when British victories in India and Canada made 
them the supreme naval power of the world. The homosexual Frederick made Algarotti his court 
chamberlain at his palace of Sans Souci. Maupertuis had become famous when he went to 
Lapland to measure a degree of the local meridian, and came back claiming that he had confirmed 
one of Newton's postulates. Frederick made him the president of the Berlin Academy of Sciences. 
Frederick corresponded with Voltaire all his life; Voltaire lived at Sans Souci and Berlin between 
1750 and 1753. Voltaire quarreled with Maupertuis and attacked him in his "Diatribe of Doctor 
Akakia." The mathematicians Leonhard Euler of Switzerland and Joseph Louis Lagrange of Turin 
were also associated with Frederick's cabal. 

The Conti salon directed the activities of Venetian intelligence agent Giacomo Casanova, a 
protege of the homosexual Senator Bragadin. Casanova was employed primarily in operations 
against King Louis XV of France. During the War of the Spanish Succession, the Venetians 
helped the British to emerge as a great power at the expense of Holland and Spain. In the War of 
the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War, the Venetians helped the British to defeat the 
French as a world-wide naval power, ousting them from India and Canada. Later the Venetian 
agent Alessandro Cagliostro would destabilize Louis XVI with the Queen's necklace affair of 
1785, which according to Napoleon Bonaparte represented the opening of the French Revolution. 

Venice ceased to exist as an independent state after its conquest by Napoleon in 1797 and the 
Austrian takeover of the lagoon under the Treaty of Campo Formio. But the influence of the 
Venetian oligarchy over culture and politics has remained immense. From 1945 to about 1968, 
one of the most important of these influences was the Societe Europeene de Culture, based in 
Venice and directed by Umberto Campagnolo. The SEC operated freely in eastern and western 
Europe, and agitated against the nation state in the name of supernational values. The SEC 
launched the career of Franz Fanon, author of the Wretched of the Earth, whose ideas form a 



justification for terrorism. The premier foundation of the world is the Cini Foundation, which 
provides ideological directives for the far wealthier but junior foundations with names like Ford, 
Rockefeller, Carnegie, MacArthur, Volkswagen, etc. 

BEFORE BONAPARTE: THREE CENTURIES OF VENETIAN SUBVERSION OF FRANCE, 
1500-1800 

The War of the League of Cambrai proved that Louis XFs modern French nation-state was a 
threat to the survival of Venice. The Venetians wanted to destroy France. But how? Direct 
military force was out of the question. The Venetians therefore decided on a strategy of cultural 
and political subversion. This subversion of France between 1500 and 1800 by the Venetians has 
few parallels in modern history. 

Of all the national cultures of the modern age, the French is the most prestigious. In culture, the 
Anglo-Americans provide trash for the mass market, but the French provide the luxury goods for 
the elite. In Asia, Africa, and Latin America, intellectuals and elites who are tired of MacDonald's 
look, above all, to France. French culture, however, has been polluted by centuries of unrelenting 
operations by Venetians like Paolo Sarpi and Antonio Conti and others. Century after century, the 
most famous French writers professed their admiration for Venice, and made their personal 
pilgrimage to Venice. Exceptions there are, but they are few and far between. As Machiavelli or 
Leonardo might have put it, "La culture Francaise e una porcheria Veneziana": French culture is 
indeed a Venetian monstrosity. 

British Prime Minister Robert Walpole gloated that "the French are ten times more idiotic than the 
British since they are so easily duped. . . ." The French pride themselves on their knowledge and 
urbanity, on their glittering, cynical intelligence. They think they are true sophisticates and 
connoisseurs of intrigue. The worst thing that can happen to them is to be fooled. Well, the worst 
has happened, and the proud French are the dupes, fall guys, and suckers for the Venetians. 
British oligarchs who went along with the Venetians stood to gain. French oligarchs who went 
with the Venetians stood only to lose. The French are the pathetic losers. 

The Venetians had been profiling the French since the Fourth Crusade of 1202, when Doge 
Enrico Dandolo duped the French feudal knights into capturing Constantinople for the Venetians. 
The old chronicles of Robert de Clari and Villehardouin show us something of the minds of the 
French dupes. 

The heart of the Venetian cultural warfare after Cambrai was the no-soul thesis. Aristotle had 
taught that man has no soul. The Venetians taught the same thing. This is not theology, this is the 
essence of politics. The no-soul thesis means that man has no reason, man is an animal, man is a 
beast. But the soul is empirically there: You know it through creativity, through your own insights 
and discoveries, the fruits of which are permanent - immortal. You know your soul through love 
and charity and through your yearning for the good. If man is a beast, then the oligarchy and the 
empire are simply unavoidable. Venetians are materialists in this sense. 

The no-soul thesis has technical names. It is called mortalism, annihilationism, thenetopsychism. 



All mean the same thing: no human soul. Around 1500, the University of Padua, the university of 
the Venetians, had a famous professor, Pietro Pomponazzi, warts and all. His doctrine was that 
there is no immortal human soul - in other words, that there is no soul at all. The whole person 
dies, body and soul. The main idea of what is called the Paduan school of Aristotelianism is that 
there is no human soul. 

Around 1600, this was taught at Padua by Cesare Cremonini. When Cremonini died, he ordered a 
tombstone with the inscription: Hie jacet totus Cremoninus - "here lies all of Cremonini." The 
idea was that there had been no soul, and that all of Cremonini had gone into the grave. 
Pomponazzi and Cremonini exercised immense influence on France. 

The no-soul thesis is the one infallible marker for a Venetian agent. Every Venetian agent, every 
Venetian asset, claims man has no soul, including Pomponazzi, Contarini, Cremonini, and Antonio 
Conti. In England, the no-soul idea was proclaimed by Venetian assets like Robert Fludd, Thomas 
Hobbes, John Milton, Cromwell's ally Sir Henry Vane, and various of the Cromwell- backed 
radicals including Richard Overton of the Levellers, Laurence Clarkson of the Ranters, Lodovic 
Muggleton and his Muggletonians, Gerard Winstanley of the Diggers, and Anne Hutchinson of 
Boston. Martin Luther had his own variation, that the soul slept until the last judgment. Every 
time you find the no-soul thesis, you have a Venetian agent, and generally also vice-versa. 

The modern Venetian Party in France was founded by Paolo Sarpi (1552-1623), a no-soul 
Satanist and chief Venetian policy maker of the period around 1600. The best name for the 
Venetian Party of France is the cabal of the libertines. That is what they called themselves. Their 
creed was the no-soul thesis, mixed with various forms of Satanism and mysticism. To found the 
cabal of the libertines, Sarpi first needed a war of religion. 

I have shown that Gasparo Contarini of Venice was the prime mover behind both Martin Luther 
and King Henry VIII, thus creating both Lutheranism and Anglicanism. Neither of these doctrines 
could be sold in France, so a new and more militant form of Protestantism had to be created. It 
featured total depravity and absolute predestination, and it came to be called Calvinism. 

Calvin had to be taught how to create a synthetic religion. His teacher was Pierre Taisan de 
l'Estoile. This Pierre Taisan de l'Estoile was a Venetian operative; his son was an admirer of 
Paolo Sarpi. The younger de l'Estoile wrote in his Journal (after the Interdict crisis of 1606) that 
"Father Paul, the Venetian monk of the Servite Order. . . is, in my judgment, the one who has best 
and most sincerely written for my lords the Venetians. . . . The treatise of Paul Sarpi, a monk and 
professor of Venice, along with his other writings published at this time in support of the 
Venetians against the attacks of the Pope, are seen in Paris, and are praised and collected by all 
the men of character and learning. . . . Sarpi's life is even more persuasive than his writings, and 
make him admired and revered in Venice as a holy man and give a great weight of authority to his 
books." Thus wrote the son of Calvin's teacher. Calvin was a Venetian agent. 

The French King at this time was Francis I, who had been in Spanish captivity after the Battle of 
Pavia in 1525 in the Cambrai Wars. Francis I was inclined towards a reasonable policy of peace 
and tolerance until 1534, the year of the so-called Placards Affair. The placards were leaflets with 



violent protests against the Pope and the mass, put up in numerous public places and on the door 
of the King's bedroom. Francis I went wild; 20 heads rolled, and Francis persecuted the 
Protestants. One of the provocateurs had been Jean Calvin, who had a previous arrest record for 
such actions. One of the victims of this operation had been Calvin's own brother, who was 
executed and buried under the gallows. 

The greatest French writer, Francois Rabelais, opposed Calvin. In the fourth book of his 
Gargantua, Rabelais condemned the "little Calvinist demons and other impostors of Geneva." 

Calvinism was directed much more against the King than against the Pope. The French Calvinists 
were called Huguenots, meaning confederates. When the Calvinists of Geneva became embroiled 
with the Catholic Duke of Savoy, these Calvinists, since they were Swiss, were called the 
Eidgenossen, citizens of the Confoederatio Helvetica, and, thus, confederates. For French 
speakers, Eidgenossen became Huguenots. Huguenots were drawn chiefly from the oligarchy; it is 
estimated that, around 1570, more than a third and possibly half of the French nobility were 
Protestant. 

Huguenot ideology permitted a comeback for the French feudal barons who had been crushed by 
Louis XI. These barons had been fighting the central monarchy for centuries, and now they had a 
new ideology to rationalize their desire for civil war. Some oligarchs became Huguenots to spite 
their enemies who stayed Catholic. Many oligarchs wanted to determine the religion of their own 
peasants, as they could in Germany. 

Admiral Coligny of the Huguenots called in the English, while the Guise, the leaders of the 
Catholic Party, called in the Spanish. Crushed in the middle was the state built by Louis XI, and 
crushed along with that state was the expiring Valois monarchy, a series of the sons of Catherine 
de Medici. Irrationality loomed large in daily life; this was when the seer Nostradamus acquired 
his reputation. 

France had nine flare-ups of civil war between 1562 and 1598. The French wars of religion had no 
clear fronts and were marked by looting and raiding operations by groups of armed oligarchs on 
each side. All of the contending factions had leaders who were Venetian agents, and, as time went 
on, more and more were agents of Sarpi personally. Sarpi's main French operative was Arnaud du 
Ferrier, who had been the French ambassador to the Council of Trent. Du Ferrier used his notes 
on the council to help Sarpi write his most famous book, The History of the Council of Trent. 
Arnaud du Ferrier was in direct personal touch with Jean Bodin and Michel de Montaigne. Sarpi's 
friend, fellow monk, and biographer Fulgenzio Micanzio says that Sarpi was "intrinsichissimo" - 
extremely friendly - with Arnaud du Ferrier. 

Among the Venetian operatives were: 

Michel de l'Hospital, the Grand Chancellor of France during the 1560?s. He advised Henry II, 
Francis II, and Charles IX. It was on his watch that the weakness of the monarchy allowed the 
Guise to open the hostilities of the civil war. Michel preached moderation and tolerance; he has 
been called the first politique. We can imagine what would have happened to the United States if 



Abraham Lincoln had made tolerance the supreme virtue. Michel grew up in a family marked by 
treason to France: His father was a retainer of Duke Charles of Bourbon, the Constable of France, 
who went over to the Emperor Charles V and died fighting for the Hapsburg empire during the 
Sack of Rome in 1527. Michel had studied at Padua for six years; he wrote a Latin ode glorifying 
Venice: 

"Salve, Urbs antiqua, potens, magnaeque urbs aemula Romae." 

Michel's career benefited from early sponsorship by the Guise. According to the Venetian 
ambassador Andrea Barbara, Michel was always a secret Huguenot. Even so, Michel took King 
Charles IX on a tour of France, allegedly to build his popularity and stability. In practice, the 
impressionable young king was shocked to see many churches that had been destroyed by the 
Huguenots. During the same trip, Michel left the suggestible Queen Mother Catherine de Medici 
alone at Bayonne in the company of the Spanish Duke of Alba, the butcher of Holland for Philip 
II. It is thought that the bloody-minded Alba directly or indirectly provided the idea for the St. 
Batholomew's Day massacre of 1572. 

Philippe Duplessis-Mornay, correspondent of Sarpi, was the leader of the French Calvinists 
after the death of Admiral de Coligny in 1572; his nickname was the Huguenot Pope. He had 
visited Venice at the age of 18. He was a direct correspondent of Sarpi. He was the finance 
minister and money man for Henry IV, who later dumped him in a process of rapprochement with 
the Pope. 

Jacques- Auguste de Thou was in correspondence with Sarpi. He was taught by Scaligero and 
Cujas. He visited Venice in his youth, and went there again in 1589 to seek assistance as a 
minister of King Henry III. For five years, de Thou accompanied the future King Henry IV in his 
field campaigns during the civil war. De Thou helped to write the Edict of Nantes of 1598, which 
provided tolerance, meaning an armed Huguenot party in the state with its own armies and 
fortresses. At one time, de Thou was named ambassador to Venice. One of de Thou's books was 
a life of Jean Bodin. Another was a monumental Latin history of France in his time, parts of which 
were translated into French by J. Hotman de Villiers, a Sarpi correspondent. De Thou bequeathed 
his library to his relatives of the Du Puy family, and it became an organizing center for the cabal of 
the libertines. De Thou's son was part of the attempt to assassinate Richelieu by the Count of 
Cinq-Mars. 

Tracing this network is easier if we recall that the Venetians first supported Henry of Navarre to 
become King of France as Henry IV and were the first to recognize him. The Venetians controlled 
Henry IV's advisers. When Henry IV refused to back Venice in the Interdict, refused to start a 
war with Spain, and attacked Sarpi as a heretic, Venetian intelligence assassinated Henry IV, the 
most popular king in French history. 

Sarpi held his French Calvinist network in contempt. He wrote: "The heretics of France are for 
the most part bad men. . . ." 

After the 1572 massacre of Huguenots on St. Bartholomew's Day, there was a growing reaction 



against religious fanaticism. This was expressed by a third force called the politiques. The 
politiques are much misunderstood. They were not just fed up with religious fanaticism. Several 
of the politique leaders represented an early form of the cabal of the libertines under Venetian 
control. 

The leading politique was Jean Bodin, the first philosophe and an intelligence agent who worked 
for the Duke of Alencon, the son of Henry II and for a time the politique candidate for the 
monarchy. Jean Bodin was a disciple of Contarini and of Pomponazzi. Jean Bodin was in close 
contact with Sarpi's friend Arnaud du Ferrier, as well as with Cecil in London. Bodin was 
involved in plots to kill Queen Elizabeth of England, and was the judge in a trial in which a 
woman was executed for sorcery. 

His Six Books of the Commonwealth talks much about sovereignty, but this is not the modern 
concept of sovereignty. For the Venetians, the slogan of sovereignty was used as a device to 
create conflict between any given government and the Pope. Sarpi, for example, posed as the 
defender of Venetian sovereignty against Pope Paul V Borghese during the Interdict. The Jesuit 
Cardinal Bellarmino had proclaimed that all temporal rulers were subordinated to the supremacy 
of the Roman Pope. Sarpi became celebrated in all of Europe by arguing that the Pope could not 
interfere with the prerogatives of the sovereign state. King James I Stuart of England and 
Scotland, who claimed to get his divine right directly from God without any papal intermediary, 
was one of Sarpi's biggest fans. Telling the princes of the Holy Roman Empire that they were not 
really sovereign was also a great way to stir them up against the Hapsburgs. This close parallel 
between Bodin and Sarpi has been noticed by Italian writers including Federico Chabod and more 
recently Paolo Frajese. 

Much of Bodin's book is also devoted to a weird theory of climate, which appears as a racist 
determinism. Northerners succeed by force, southerners by cunning; ". . . southern peoples are 
cruel and vindictive in consequence of their melancholy, which engenders extreme violence in the 
passions and impels men to take vengeance for what they suffer." And: "There is another very 
notable difference between northerners and southerners, in that the former are modest and chaste, 
and the latter very libidinous as a result of their melancholy temperament." Or: "northern races, or 
those who live in mountainous regions, are proud and warlike, relying on their physical prowess, 
and so they prefer popular states, or at any rate elective monarchies, and will not endure to be 
ruled by pretentious boasters." From such arid banality it is not far to Henry Kissinger's idiotic 
dictum that "history is not made in the South." 

Bodin also talks of tolerance. As we can see in sixteenth- century England, tolerance often meant 
opening the door to gangs of Venetian madmen organized as religious sects. If Governor 
Winthrop of Massachusetts had caved in to Cromwell's pressure to tolerate these sects, North 
America might have become a madhouse for depraved sectarians. In any case, notice that Bodin's 
model for tolerance is none other than Gasparo Contarini, the Venetian patrician who started the 
Reformation and the Wars of Religion as a wartime measure against the League of Cambrai. 
Venice itself managed to be the most thorough totalitarian police state while at the same time 
tolerating the exercise of many religions. 



The real Jean Bodin emerges in obscene relief in his long- unpublished Latin work, 
Heptaplomeres. (See Marion L.D. Kuntz [ed.], Colloquium of the Seven about Secrets of the 
Sublime, [Princeton, 1974]). There is no doubt that Jean Bodin was the author. The scene is 
Venice, famous for its atmosphere of perfect freedom, where a group of oligarchs discuss 
religion. They are Coronaeus the Catholic, Salomon the Jew, Toralba the naturalist or empiricist, 
Fridericus the Lutheran, Curtius the Calvinist, Senamus the skeptic, and Octavius the Moslem. 
According to some commentators, the tolerant Catholic Coronaeus "in several ways resembles the 
eminent Cardinal Gasparo Contarini." [Kuntz, p. xlv] 

If Coronaeus acts as ireneic mediator, it is Salomon the Jew who emerges as the dominant figure. 
This is because he is able to draw upon the Cabala, the mass of mystical writings much fetishized 
by Bodin and Postel. Cabala is of course not a part of Judaism, but represented an entirely 
different polytheistic religion much inferior to Judaism itself. Octavius, a convert from Rome to 
Islam, is the resident expert on mummies and other exotic spiritual phenomena of the East. This is 
completely unfair to real Islam. Fridericus, the Lutheran, is also a great expert on demons. 
Toralba recommends reverence for God and following the laws of nature. Senamus, the skeptic, 
accepts no religion but at the same time rejects none. 

What they all agree on is that mummies can stir up storms and have miraculous powers of healing, 
that the world is full of demons, and that true wisdom is to be found in the mysticism of the 
Cabala. They are interested in necrophilia, sing hymns to Isis, talk of Cabbalist Hermes 
Trismegistus, and praise Gasparo Contarini. The first sentence of the actual dialogue is, "Don't 
you think we have talked enough about the immortality of souls?" Voila: the Venetian party. 

The dialogue is preceded by an introduction which sets the stage: 

"You ask me in letters to write you about my foreign travel. Everything would have happened 
to my liking, if I could have taken delight in your companionship. If I shall ever meet with you 
again, I shall never allow myself to be separated from you. When we had a difficult time sailing 
along the coast of the Adriatic Sea, we reached Venice, a port common to almost all nations or 
rather the whole world, not only because the Venetians delight in receiving strangers hospitably, 
but also because one can live there with the greatest freedom. Whereas other cities and districts 
are threatened by civil wars or fears of tyrants or harsh exactions of taxes or the most annoying 
inquiries into one's activities, this seemed to me to be nearly the only city that offers immunity and 
freedom from all these kinds of servitude. This is the reason why people come here from 
everywhere, wishing to spend their lives in the greatest freedom and tranquillity of spirit, whether 
they are interested in commerce or crafts or leisure pursuits as befit free man." [Kuntz ed., p. 3] 

There is also much praise for Cardinal Contarini, the Venetian intelligence chief of the Cambrai 
period: 

"Fridericus: When, at the imperial Diet at Ratisbon the Emperor Charles V, in agreement with 
the German princes, had selected six most upright theologians of each religion to settle the 
religious controversies of the Romans and Germans . . . they thought they should begin with the 
question of human justification. When in this discussion three theologians of the Augsburg 



Confession had drawn the Catholics, Pflugius, Fabrus, and Groppeus to their position and had 
likewise persuaded Cardinal Contarini, legate of the Roman See of this point of view, namely, that 
man is blessed by faith alone and by no merit of his own, Eckius, one of the Catholics, became so 
angry against his colleagues that the Catholic bishops and princes, convinced by him, forced 
Charles V to dissolve the discussion twenty days after it had begun. . . . Cardinal Contarini, the 
most learned Venetian patrician who was said to have agreed with the Lutherans, died a little 
afterwards, and it was strongly suspected that he died of poisoning." [Kuntz ed., 423] 

It is no coincidence that Bodin puts this speech into the mouth of Fridericus, the Lutheran 
spokesman; Contarini was the founder of Lutheranism and assured the protection of Luther, 
through his agent Spalatin. 

The first phase of the search for true religion in Book I of Heptaplo meres is centered on a 
discussion of the amazing powers of Egyptian mummies, as illustrated by the soi-disant Moslem 
Octavius, who tells of how he robbed a grave, stole a mummy, and tried to ship the mummy home 
by sea from Alexandria. He wanted the mummy because "there was so much healing power in 
these corpses that they warded off almost all diseases." After Octavius left Egypt, the ship on 
which he was traveling with the mummy was overtaken by a terrible storm. The terrified 
passengers began praying for safety according to Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, 
Moslem, and even Venetian rite customs. A Spanish soldier even tried blasphemy of the Christian 
God. But, Octavius recounts, all prayers and incantations were useless until the ship's captain 
threatened to execute anyone with a mummy in his baggage. At that point, Octavius 
surreptitiously threw his mummy overboard, and the storm calmed immediately. The captain later 
told Octavius that "the transportation of Egyptian corpses always stirred up storms and. . . that the 
nautical laws of the Egyptians scrupulously prohibited this." [Kuntz, 14] 

The message is clear: All the monotheistic religions put together are no match for even one good 
old-fashioned mummy. Mummies were a favorite theme of Bodin's, since he also wrote about 
their powers in two of his other books, his 1580 On the Demonomania of Witches and his 1596 
Universae naturae theatrum. With Bodin, we are not far from the later British intelligence stunt 
known as the "curse of King Tut's tomb." 

From the mummies of Book I, Bodin moves on to the demons of Book II. Let us sample some of 
the exchanges: 

"Fridericus: . . . those who have been present when magicians assembled together agree if 
anyone uninitiated to demonic rites is brought there and shudders at the detestable devotions, 
suddenly with a clap of thunder the assemblage of demons and magicians is dissolved. . . . And just 
as the assemblages of soothsayers and the dire poisons of magicians smell of sulphur, so also 
those places in which lightning has struck are filled with the foulest odor of sulphur. We have 
observed that those fiery rocks made by demon's art smell of nothing but sulphur. Now, who is so 
blind that he does not see the actions of demons in the flashing of lightning. ... the power of 
demons is also indicated when swords melt in an unharmed scabbard, when utensils burn in a 
closed and untouched cupboard, when the private parts lose hair though the skin is unblemished, 
when a wife recoils from the embrace of her husband. In countless actions which are most alien to 



nature, we must admit these things happen contrary to nature only by the force and power of 
demons or angels. 

"Curtius: The ancient theologians identified three thunderbolts of Jupiter, namely white, red, 
black. . . . Since Pliny did not comprehend this, he thought that the white lightning fell from the 
body of Jupiter himself, an opinion too frivolous to deserve refutation. 

"Octavius: I hear that Timurbecus, whom our people call Tamerlan, followed this method of 
imposing punishment. . . . 

"Salomon: Into their myths the Greeks wove the truth which they received from the Hebrews. 
They represented Juno as presiding in the air and hurling down avenging spirits from the midst of 
the air to keep them from flying into heaven. This indicated only that lesser spirits and demons 
were enclosed by their particular boundaries, to keep them from breaking out above the region of 
the clouds and were cast out by higher angels and powers and hurled down on the earth. By their 
fall they terrify mortals. . . . 

"Senamus: You have explained these matters elegantly and charmingly, but I do not know why 
demons pursue the bodies of Egyptians rather than Greeks or why they are accustomed to stir up 
tempests only when those bodies are stolen. Surely everyone knows that corpses are customarily 
carried on ships, sometimes to Asia, Greece, and even to Italy without a storm. 

"Fridericus: But those corpses were not yet buried. . . . 

"Octavius: Perhaps demons envy men the salutary remedies which are recovered from those 
corpses of Egyptians. For they guard with unusual diligence the hidden treasures and kill those 
who dig them up. . . . George Agricola has many stories of this kind in which he relates that many 
people saw demons of pygmy size in the mines. ... A long time ago, Apuleius, that greatest 
magician and poisoner, recalled this vexation. I find it strange, however, that no one who had 
sought a treasure with a demon's help had ever found it or was enriched with the find. 

"Curtius: Surely by Roman law money is denied to those who search out treasures by means of 
detestable sacrifices or from any other forbidden art. 

"Fridericus: The Chaldeans say their terrestrial demons, supposedly the guardians of treasures 
and corpses, are more deceitful and cruel because they are farther from the purity of light and 
divine knowledge .... 

"Salomon: The divine law wholeheartedly curses this impiety and mischief that magicians used 
and those who thus feast on blood with demons. 

"Fridericus: But if those demons are the souls of wicked men who either had placed all their 
hope in their buried treasures secured from plunder, ... let them pay just punishments with daily 
torment. Or demons may be the spirits of those who must pay the penalties for directing all their 
efforts to building palaces and towers with the blood of the people. . . . Finally, I do not doubt that 



impure spirits wander around the foul and loathsome regions and stir up storms and winds. 

"Toralba: . . .it was not without cause that Thomas Aquinas, famous even among physicists, 
wrote that demons stir up lightning and thunder. 

"Curtius: Pliny and Strabo wrote something similar to this.... Plutarch thought that the causes 
of this extended silence [of oracles] must be attributed to the death of demons. 

"Senamus: If demons disturb the visible sky, the seas, lands, fires, if they terrify men with 
thunder, lightning, winds, whirlwinds, earthquakes, and unexpected portents, if they hover over 
divine and human ambassadors, if then they regulate and overturn powers, states, cities, districts, 
families, finally if they are added to individual men as guardians and avengers, consider how great 
a multitude of demons and angels must be stationed up and down in all parts of the world and in 
individual places. . . . Fridericus has maintained that there were demons of each nature and sex, 
ephilates and hyphilates, in the unions of witches with incubi and magicians with succubi. . . . 

[...] 

"Coronaeus: Senamus has proposed a very difficult but proper question. If Toralba will explain 
it with his usual care, he will render a great service not only to Senamus but to all of us. 

"Toralba: . . . since a discussion of the origin of angels and demons, their place, condition, and 
death seems far removed from positive proofs, surely we ought to seek an explanation of these 
things from the Hebrews, who drank divine secrets from those very fountains and sacred 
sources.... 

"Salomon: After our ancestors returned to Chaldea as prisoners, they became acquainted with 
many things by divine communication. However, we received nothing which has not been 
common knowledge throughout the world and available to everyone." [Kuntz, 83-89] 

The "divine communication" which Toralba appeals to, and which Salomon declines to discuss is 
of course the Cabala. Of this latter Salomon says in Book III: 

"Since that teaching is perceived only by hearing, it is called qabbalah (tradition). This is what 
Esdras meant when he said: 'Some things you will make common knowledge; others you will 
relate to the wise' .... In like manner, the sacred books were written in such a way that those 
things which pertain to the salvation of everyone, such as the decalogue and everything connected 
with it are easily understood by all. . . . The occult rites and sacrifices which have less to do with 
salvation are understood only by the learned, and the knowledge of natural mysteries, the Cabala, 
is understood only by the most learned." [Kuntz, 94-95] 

In sum, we can see that all of the interlocutors of the Heptaplomeres, whatever their nominal 
religious affiliation, are Venetian cultist kooks. There is not one of them who stands up to 
confront the others with the plain fact that they are all wallowing in wild insanity and black magic. 



As Jacques Roger wrote, "since he has assembled in his dialogue all the traditional arguments 
against the divinty of Jesus Christ, Bodin is a 'rationalist', probably a disciple of Pomponazzi. . . . 
The problem is that this modern thinker, this rationalist, firmly believed in demons and 
witches...." 

Bodin was in a tandem with Guillaume Postel, the first Frenchman to read the Cabala and publish 
an edition of the Zohar, one of the classics of Cabala. Bodin and Postel shared the same patron; 
this was Gabriel Bouvery, Bishop of Angers, and nephew of Guillaume Poyet, Chancellor of 
France, who was Postel's paymaster by 1538-40. According to various sources, the discussions 
described in Heptaplomeres were not a work of fiction, but had actually taken place in Venice. 
Postel had attended them. The goal of the discussions had been to create a new, synthetic, 
syncretic, and satanic religion using scraps of the three monotheistic faiths. After Postel's death, 
Bodin got his stenographic notes and made them into the Heptaplomeres. Postel's Venetian 
seminar could only have been sponsored by the Giovani Party of the Venetian oligarchy, the party 
of the Ridotto Morosini salon attended by Paolo Sarpi. Postel's seminar was a founding 
constituent of the cabal of the libertines, the Venetian Party of France. 

The goal of Bodin and Postel was to synthesize a new religion, as related by Antoine Teissier, 
Eloges des hommes savants, tires de l'histoire de M. de Thou, avec des additions (Leyden, 1715): 

"Henri Etienne assures us that he saw Postel at Venice publicly proclaiming that if one wished 
to have a good religion, it would be necessary to compose a religion from those of the Turks, the 
Jews, and the Christians. Moreover, Mr. Naude said that at the time when Postel was at Venice 
there were four men who gathered twice every week to discuss with complete freedom all the 
religions of the world, and that Postel wrote what took place in their discussions. After the death 
of Postel these writings fell into the hands of Bodin and became the material for the book entitled 
About the Secrets of Sublime Things. . . ." 

The same notion is conveyed by an earlier source, Diecmann's 1684 De Naturalismo: 

"And so it was pleasing to arrange his whole scene with Bodin as chorus-leader so that any 
religion might be applauded more than the Christian religion, or that religion might be mingled by 
Samaritan confusion with Jewish and Turkish treachery; that he seems to have wished to unite 
himself clearly to the intention of his most insane citizen, Guillaume Postel, whom Henricus 
Stephanus heard saying publicly now and then at Venice that whoever wishes to fashion a form of 
good religion ought to blend this from those three - the Christian, Jewish, and Turkish religions. I 
am not at all deceived in this conclusion which I learned not so long ago from a French 
manuscript which mentioned that Guy Patin, physician and royal professor at Paris, had heard 
from Gabriel Naude whom he knew very intimately, that there had been at Venice four men who 
had met twice a week for the purpose of establishing philosophical discussions about the various 
religions. Among those were Coronaeus of Rouen and the one whom I mentioned, Guillaume 
Postel, who acted as stenographer. His [Postel's] manuscripts, after he had died at Paris in 1584, 
came into the hands of Bodin and were used to complete this work." [Kuntz, p. lxi] 

As for Postel, he tried to start a cult around that rarest of commodities, a 50-year old Venetian 



Virgin - in this case a certain Mother Zuana, a woman he found working among the poor at the 
Ospedaletto of Venice. Postel came under the influence of Madre Zuana during 1549-1550. 
Postel identified her with the shechinah, the cabalistic term for the female aspect of the deity. 
Madre Zuana's father confessor was a member of the Convent of St. Francesco della Vigna, 
which had previously been the base of operations of Francesco Giorgi, the relative of Contarini 
who had earlier moved to the English court as resident sex therapist for King Henry VIII. It is a 
safe bet that Postel imbibed the Francesco Giorgi version of Cabala and Rosicrucianism from 
Giorgi's old colleagues at St. Francesco della Vigna. 

Later, in 1552, Postel claimed that the departed spirit of Mother Zuana had occupied his body 
through a mysterious process he called "immutation." Perhaps as a result, Postel became an early 
feminist. He was also Royal Lector for King Henry II of France and was close to the king, who 
died in a suspicious tournament accident which Nostradamus claimed to have predicted. 

The exoteric ideas of the cabal of the libertines involved much verbiage around the idea of Nature. 
What was natural was good, what was unnatural was bad, etc. The state of nature was good, 
other states were less good, etc. St. Evremonde praised "la bonne loi naturelle." The world is 
ruled by blind fate, which is amoral and cannot be opposed. Wisdom is a matter of giving 
expression to one's own Nature by seeking enjoyment. Most of the so- called Enlightenment boils 
down to these few banal notions. 

Parallel to Bodin, was Michel de Montaigne, the inventor of the essay form and the founder of the 
modern French ideology of the honnete homme - clever, urbane, cynical, skeptical, sensual. Bodin 
and Montaigne were linked by their common acquaintance with Sarpi's favorite Frenchman, 
Arnaud du Ferrier. Montaigne was close to Sarpi's correspondents DuPlessis-Mornay and de 
Thou, with the latter of whom he wanted to retire to his beloved Venice at the end of his life. 
Montaigne was Sarpi's favorite writer, especially for his essay on friendship with its homosexual 
overtones. 

It is quite likely that Montaigne met Sarpi when he visited Venice in 1580. There is a tradition 
that Montaigne was on a diplomatic mission; he might have been representing his king or perhaps 
a faction on the French political scene. Some of Montaigne's ideas on magnetism are reflected in 
Sarpi's Pensieri. Later, Montaigne's disciple Pierre Charron wrote various tracts to popularize his 
master's point of view, and these writings of Charron also find their reflections here and there in 
Sarpi's notes for his neo-Aristotelian, neo-Ockhamite empiricist method. 

Montaigne's motto was "Que sais-je?", what do I know? His answer reflected his pessimism 
about human knowledge and human creativity. Montaigne thought that even the "brutal stupidity" 
of animals assisted by their instincts could do better than "everything of which our divine 
intelligence is capable." 

Montaigne's father had been a French soldier in the War of the League of Cambrai. The elder 
Montaigne had served with Lautrec; he kept a diary of his Italian years which has never been 
found. Montaigne's father had brought back from Italy a system of education supposedly 
endorsed by Italian humanists. The main idea was to speak only Latin around the child so as to 



make Latin the child's native language. Montaigne claims that he heard only Latin until he was six 
years old. Had the Venetians furnished the plan embraced by the elder Montaigne? 

Montaigne wrote of cannibalism: While we think it is barbarous, many cultures think it is fine, so 
who are we to say? And, given our wars of religion, who are we to talk? "I think there is more 
barbarity in eating a man alive than in eating him dead; and in tearing by tortures and the rack a 
body still full of feeling, in roasting a man bit by bit. . . (as we have not only read but seen within 
fresh memory, not among ancient enemies, but among neighbors and fellow citizens, and what is 
worse, on the pretext of piety and religion), than in roasting and eating him after he is dead." 

Antonio Conti's later assets, Montesquieu and Voltaire, paid tribute to Montaigne as the founder 
of their tradition. For two centuries, until the regime of Napoleon, the popularity of Montaigne in 
France survived, cutting across all changes in government or literary taste. Montaigne's "honnete 
homme" remains the foundation of the French ideology to this very day, a fact that helps to 
explain the political success of such creatures as Georges Pompidou, Giscard d'Estaing, "Tonton" 
Mitterrand, and Jacques Chirac. 

Montaigne's partner was Etienne de la Boetie, another fanatical admirer of Venice. Only after de 
la Boetie died did Montaigne get married. Etienne de la Boetie wrote a praise of Venice in his 
Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, a book which still elicits enthusiasm from Murray Rothbard 
and other libertarians of today: "Whoever could have observed the early Venetians, a handful of 
people living so freely that the most wicked among them would not wish to be king over them, so 
born and trained that they would not vie with one another except as to which one could give the 
best counsel and nurture their liberty most carefully, so instructed and developed from their 
cradles that they would not exchange for all other delights of the world an iota of their freedom; 
who, I say, familiar with the original nature of such a people, could visit today the territories of 
the man known as the Great Doge, and there contemplate with composure a people unwilling to 
live except to serve him, and maintaining his power at the cost of their lives? Who would believe 
that these two groups of people had an identical origin? Would one not rather conclude that upon 
leaving a city of men he had chanced upon a menagerie of beasts?" 

Etienne de la Boetie died in 1563. His remarks on Venice correspond exactly to the general 
political line of the Giovani Party, the patrician association meeting in the Ridotto Morosini. The 
agitation of the Giovani was that the Council of Ten and its Zonta (or Giunta) had robbed the 
Venetians of their ancient liberties. The Council of Ten was the organ of government that 
supervised internal security, spying, and surveillance; it could and did conduct secret trials of 
patricians and sentence them to death. The Giovani demand was, of course, that the members of 
the Vecchi Party who dominated the Council of Ten should be ousted and replaced by Giovani, 
along with some other formal changes. The reform of the Council of Ten was carried out in 1582, 
and marked the transition to overall domination by the Giovani. Etienne de la Boetie's treatment 
of Venice shows that he was not only an admirer of the Venetian oligarchy, but also that he was a 
partisan of the Giovani Party specifically. 

Montaigne wrote of his friend: "if [la Boetie] had been able to choose, he would have preferred to 
have been born at Venice than in Sarlat [near Bordeaux], and he would have been right." For his 



own part, when Montaigne crossed the Alps for the first time in 1580, his paramount goal was 
Venice. His travel journal notes that Montaigne "was saying that he would not have been able to 
stop at Rome or anywhere else in Italy and be at rest if he had not first seen Venice." The French 
writer who most distinguished himself in attacking Montaigne was Blaise Pascal. 

Now for a few key figures from the cabal of the libertines over the centuries. 

1600-1700 

The Venetians sent Giordano Bruno to Paris. They later also sent Vanini, a disciple of Bruno. 
Vanini was accused of propagating the no-soul thesis and was burned at the stake, which spread 
sympathy for the libertines. Vanini's doctrine was that men were without souls and died in the 
same way that dumb animals do. At his trial, Vanini testified that he had attended a Naples 
meeting of 12 operatives dedicated to spreading atheism in Europe, and that he had been assigned 
France by drawing straws. Bruno has since had a following in France, including Cyrano de 
Bergerac, and later Fontenelle, the permanent secretary of the Academy of Sciences and an ally of 
Antonio Conti. 

In the wake of Bruno and Vanini, a nucleus of libertine poets emerged in Paris. These included 
Maynard, Boisrobert, Tristan the Hermit, Saint-Amant, and Theophile de Viau. Among the poets 
of the same time, there was Desbarreax, who had studied with Cremonini. Close to him was 
Theophile de Viau, who was almost burned at the stake himself. This Theophile de Viau was 
reputedly a bisexual and for certain Descartes' favorite poet. The libertine poet Tristan was an 
imitator of the Italian pornographic poet Marino. In the same circles traveled the atheist and 
libertine Abbe Boisrobert, who, with the support of Richelieu, founded the Academie Francaise 
on the model of the Venetian controlled Aristotelian academies of Italy. 

French intellectual life during the 1600?s was often centered in salons, academies, and cabinets. 
The procedure of the Venetian Party was to establish or take control over the most prestigious 
and fashionable of the salons, and then use the hegemonic influence of these Venetian dominated 
leading salons to set the tone the lesser and provincial salons and academies were expected to 
follow. A prime example is the leading cultural academy of the early 1600?s, the Academie 
Puteane. Its organizer was Elie Diodati of the infamous Calvinist Diodati family of Geneva, 
friends of Sarpi and controllers of Milton. Diodati was in direct touch with Galileo and hosted 
Milton during the latter's grand tour. During the first phase of the Academie Puteane, Diodati 
functioned as its secretary. Another member was Gabriel Naude, who had studied with Cremonini 
in Padua and admired him as a "deniaise," meaning that Cremonini was an initiate who had seen 
everything. Naude, who admired Cremonini's powers of deception, was Cardinal Mazarin's 
librarian, and anticipated several important ideas of Descartes. 

A third member was the philosopher Gassendi, the dominant philosopher of the period from 1640 
to 1660 in France. Gassendi taught an empiricism similar to Sarpi's. This included a material soul 
which was as rarefied as the simplest atoms, but material nonetheless. LaFontaine, whose fables 
imitated not just Aesop but also much more recent Venetian models, was influenced by Gassendi. 
Other Puteane activists included Guy Patin, a professor of medicine, and the skeptic La Mothe le 



Vayer. 



Patin had a joke about the immortality of the soul: He said that he once asked a moribund patient 
to come back and report on the afterlife. Patin said that the patient had indeed come back, but had 
refused to speak, leaving him ignorant about the immortality of the soul. 

When Gassendi went out of fashion around 1660, he was replaced by the notorious Rosicrucian 
Descartes, who was also steeped in the Cabala. When he was at college with the Jesuits, 
Descartes had been a pro-Galileo activist. The turning point in Descartes' intellectual biography 
was a series of three rapti philosophici, or philosophical trances, experienced on the night of 
November 10-11, 1619ina heated room in a German village. November 1 1 was St. Martin's day, 
and St. Martin's eve was one of the great drinking bashes of the old Christian year - something 
like New Year's Eve today. The three dreams were the sources of Descartes' theory of vortices, 
among other things. 

Descartes completed his own pilgrimage to Venice, and combined it with successful espionage for 
clients, including the French army of the Alps. Descartes visited the highly strategic Valtellina 
region of Switzerland, which was one of the nodal points of the Thirty Years' War, then in 
progress. The Valtellina was the territory of the Protestant Grisons or Grey Leagues, a land 
corridor which permitted direct communication between the possessions of the Austrian 
archdukes, on the one hand, and Spanish-occupied Lombardy and Milan on the other. It had been 
seized by the Spanish in 1619. Descartes, by then an expert in fortification and siege warfare, sent 
back such accurate reports that a French force was soon able to seize the Valtellina, severing the 
Austrian-Spanish communications. Naturally, all this was perfectly coherent with the anti-Spanish 
policy of the Venetians. Descartes arrived in Venice to see the traditional yearly ceremony acting 
out the marriage of the Doge to the Adriatic Sea. 

Soon countergangs emerged with the announced purpose of countering the cabal of the libertines. 
An example was the Company of the Holy Sacrament, created in 1629 by the Duke of Ventadour. 
This was a secret society and included a pervasive spy network. Mazarin formally dissolved the 
Company of the Holy Sacrament, but its networks were still active as the "cabal of the devout" at 
the court of Louis XIV. The playwright Moliere, who was for a time the director of Louis XIV's 
entertainments, came into conflict numerous times with the cabal of the devout. Moliere, who was 
something of a libertine himself, satirized the religious activists in the figure of Tartuffe, the 
sanctimonious hypocrite who affects a mask of piety to pursue his often immoral goals. 

After Richelieu died, the oligarchs rose up in rebellion against Mazarin under the leadership of the 
Cardinal de Retz, also a prominent author. This was the Fronde of 1650. Many rebellious nobles, 
like the Orleans, were atheists and libertines and frondeurs. Another famous frondeur was La 
Rochefoucauld, the author of the many cynical and worldly maxims. 

Among the libertines of the second half of the 1600?s, we find Pierre Bayle, the antagonist of 
Leibniz. There is also St. Evremonde, a veteran of the Fronde and the de facto libertine envoy to 
London. St. Evremonde's pose was that of the refined voluptuary. Under Louis XIV, libertines 
and atheists met at the Societe du Temple, where the dominant figure was the Grand Prieur de 



Vendome. Another center of the Venetian Party was the Palais Royal, controlled by the Duke of 
Orleans. 

1700-1800 

The cabal of the libertines, from the very beginning, had capabilities for espionage, assassination, 
and terrorism. A good example is the network of Pierre Jurieu, an espionage agent in the service 
of William of Orange active around 1700. The Public Record Office in London has thousands of 
pages of espionage reports from Jurieu's extensive network. Jurieu was a Huguenot minister and 
a translator of Paolo Sarpi. According to one commentator, "Jurieu made himself the tenacious 
defender of Calvinist orthodoxy. He refused any compromise, any relaxation, any tolerance. But 
this intransigence, which gives him a somber grandeur, also led him, by apparent paradox, to the 
most revolutionary theses. Jurieu severed the French Huguenots from any duty of obedience to 
the King; he thus legitimized insurrection and was one of the fathers of democracy, and one of the 
most obvious precursors of the spirit of 1789." (A. Niderst, Dictionnaire des Litteratures). Based 
on his reading of the Apocalypse, Jurieu announced that in 1689 both the regime of King Louis 
XIV and the French Catholic Church were going to collapse. 

Jurieu on Sarpi: ". . .it hath pleased God in his Providence to raise up even in the Church of Rome, 
a wise, a moderate, a judicious and sincere man, one that in a word was the greatest man of his 
age, who hath carefully wrote this History. He has all the Perfections required to compleat an 
Historian...." 

After about 1710, the Venetian networks of France were reorganized around Newtonianism by 
Antonio Conti. Conti worked with Montesquieu and Voltaire. Conti's later network included 
Buffon, Diderot, Condillac, and other leading lights of the celebrated French Encyclopedia. 

Venetian operatives like Giacomo Casanova moved through the network of the cabal of the 
libertines. Casanova's mission for Venetian intelligence was to attack and undermine the regime 
of Louis XV. He was followed by the Venetian agent Cagliostro, who organized scandals that 
helped, according to Napoleon, to start the Revolution with the "queen's necklace affair," which 
generated widespread hatred against Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. None of these operations 
could have succeeded without the cabal of the libertines, the ambient portrayed by Mozart in the 
"Viva la liberta" scene in Don Giovanni. 

Finally, by about 1800, after three centuries of subversion, French society had been degraded to 
the point that Frenchmen were willing to submit to the dictatorship of a foreigner - of a Venetian. 
The cabal of the libertines had set the stage for the Revolution, the Terror, and for Bonaparte. 
France's most famous dictator turned out to be a post-1380 Genoese Corsican and therefore a de 
facto Venetian, revealing the open secret that so much of the dark side of French culture had been 
produced by the Venetians all along. 

The War of the League of Cambrai, Paolo Sarpi and John Locke 

From ICLC Conference panel titled: "The Axioms of the American System," Feb. 18, 1996; 



appeared in New Federalist, March 18, 1996 

Every person, whether he knows it or not, is a philosopher. Each of us necessarily develops a 
theory of how the world works. This theory is expressed as a set of axioms. The axioms are 
self-evident ideas that are recognized and accepted by everybody in sight. The axioms define 
human nature, the content of history, the workings of economics, the purpose of government, the 
goals of life. Today's American population operates according to axioms which are false, 
oligarchical - and suicidal. A dictatorship or a monarchy can get by with slaves or subjects, but a 
republic demands educated and capable citizens. Without citizens, a republic cannot survive. The 
most dangerous force in American life today is public opinion itself. In today's crisis, public 
opinion rejects out of hand all the urgent measures needed to promote national survival. This 
public opinion is stupefied by television and spectator sports and crassly manipulated by the news 
media. This depraved public opinion reflects not so much the admitted failure of political 
leadership as the degradation of the intellectual life of the average citizen. In the face of this kind 
of public opinion, world civilization as we have known it cannot long survive. 

Is there a remedy? It must be to uncover the false axioms, uproot them, and replace them with the 
truth. History and philosophy are two powerful weapons in this fight against false axioms. The 
crisis of the citizen needs to be seen in a long historical perspective - we need to look at the five 
hundred years since the Italian Renaissance opened the modern era. 

Before the Renaissance started about 1400, there was a discouraging sameness in most known 
forms of human society. Some were better, some were worse, but they were generally two-class 
systems: ruling elite and mass. The mass made up 95% of the population. They were peasants, 
serfs, and slaves, almost always laboring on the land, almost always illiterate and benighted. Their 
lives were nasty, brutish, and short. Over these peasants and serfs commanded a feudal 
aristocracy. Monarchy is bad enough, but most of the pre-Renaissance societies were something 
worse: they were small ruling classes called oligarchies. The aristocrats had military retainers, 
priests, scribes, and lackeys, making up at most 5% of the population. Under these conditions, 
world population potential was measured in the hundreds of millions, and even these were 
decimated by frequent plagues and famines. 

Now and then a good ruler might appear, and did appear, along with excellent philosophers and 
scientists. But the oligarchy was always present, waiting to drag the society down again. Usury, 
constant warfare, slavery, racism, Aristotelian philosophy - these are the trademarks of oligarchy. 
Oligarchs come in many forms: the Roman senate, the barons of the dark ages, the Russian 
boyars, east European magnates, the French frondeurs, the princes of the Holy Roman Empire. 
Most of these feudal aristocrats were very ignorant, brutal, and crude. The medieval feudal 
aristocrats were easily manipulated by the Venetians, who had inherited the methods of Babylon, 
Rome, and Byzantium. From about 1000 AD until about 1600, the leading center of oligarchy in 
Europe and nearby Asia was Venice. 

The first sustained breakout from this 2-class model came with the movement starting with Dante 
and Petrarch and culminating in Cusanus, Leonardo, and the Italian Renaissance of the 1400?s. 
The high point of the early Renaissance was the Council of Florence in 1439, convened under the 



sponsorship of the Medici rulers of Florence. In addition to briefly re-uniting the Christian world, 
this council embraced the theology of the filioque. In political terms filioque meant that each and 
every human being is made in the image of God, similar to God, by virtue of possessing God-like 
qualities of intellectual creativity in the form of a human soul. Therefore the dignity of the human 
person had to be respected. The human mind was capable of scientific discovery, and also capable 
of creating the modern nation-state. 

The impulse from the Council of Florence reached around the world with Columbus and the 
Florentine Amerigo Vespucci, the Medici envoy who gave his name to the new continents of the 
Americas. The same impulse of human progress reached into France, where King Louis XI used 
Florentine methods to create the first modern national state. This was a matter first of all of 
breaking the power of the turbulent feudal aristocracy. This was done with taxation, which also 
financed the beginnings of the modern administration. Louis XI had a social base in the 
commercial and manufacturing classes of the cities and towns - the origins of the modern middle 
class. As King between 1461 and 1483, Louis promoted industry and commerce, protected the 
rights of labor, enacted public health statutes, built infrastructure, drained swamps, and built up a 
national army. The population and prosperity of France increased accordingly. France was the 
first nation to reach the take-off point into the modern age. 

French military power also grew. This was soon noticed by the new Tudor regime in England, as 
well as by the rulers of Spain. It was clear that the future belonged to the larger nation-states that 
were smart enough to imitate the methods of Louis XI. If the Louis XI model were to prevail 
everywhere, there was the hope that the oligarchs as a class might be crushed. The momentum of 
the Renaissance art, science, and statecraft might overwhelm all resistance and become 
unstoppable. 

The Venetians, who had been waging their own war against Florence and the other Italian 
Renaissance states for a century, studied events in France carefully. Venice was essentially a 
city-state with an inland empire in northern Italy and a marine empire in the Mediterranean. At 
first the Venetians thought they could survive as a great power by playing off the new 
nation-states one against the other. As soon as Louis XI was dead, the Venetians invited his 
unworthy and inferior heir Charles VIII to conquer Milan. The French conquered Naples, 
Florence, and Milan, but their presence also drew in the forces of Spain. It was a time of rapidly 
shifting alliances. Before long, the main powers had all been antagonized by Venetian perfidy and 
geopolitics. For the Venetians had been filching territory on all sides, grabbing for every fly that 
flew by them. 

What followed was the War of the League of Cambrai, the great world war that marked the 
opening of the modern era. If Venice had been destroyed in this war, the European oligarchy 
would have been deprived of its command center and is likely to have perished. Without Venice, 
we would have been spared the wars of religion, including the Thirty Years' War; we would have 
been spared the British Empire and most of its wars, including the American Civil War and the 
two world wars of this century. The same goes for most of the depressions and economic crises of 
these years. 



At the heart of the League of Cambrai was the joint commitment in 1508 by King Louis XII of 
France and Maximilian, the Holy Roman Emperor, to divide the territory of Venice between them. 
The King of Spain joined in because he wanted to take Venetian possessions in southern Italy. A 
little later Pope Julius II della Rovere also joined the League. Julius II della Rovere was a 
professional soldier and an oligarch. He was called the papa terribile; his portrayal by Rex 
Harrison in the movie The Agony and the Ecstasy is much too kind. 

But now the Venetians, the masters of geopolitics and encirclement, were faced in 1509 by a 
league of virtually all the European states with the exception of Hungary and England. In Venice, 
the Council of Ten assumed emergency powers. The program of the League of Cambrai was to 
expropriate all Venetian territory except for the city itself in its lagoon. By this time Venetian 
wealth derived more from its land possessions than from its ocean trade, so a loss of the land 
empire, or terrafirma, would have been a fatal blow. Among the French there were those who 
wanted to go further: the French general Bayard, whose courage is proverbial in France until this 
day, proclaimed his desire to destroy the Venetian oligarchy because of their opulent contempt for 
God and Christendom. 

In the spring of 1509, a French army of 20,000 soldiers left Milan and crossed the Adda River 
into Venetian territory. On May 14, 1509 this French force met and destroyed an evenly matched 
Venetian mercenary army. The Venetians gave up Verona, Bergamo, Brescia, Vicenza, and even 
Padova, retreating into the natural fortress of their lagoons. The entire Venetian land empire had 
been lost in a single day. In one battle, Venice had dropped off the list of European great powers. 
The Venetians called it a "second Cannae." The Florentine secretary Machiavelli exulted that in 
one day the Venetians had lost the fruits of 800 years of aggression. The Venetians were able to 
retake Padova, but had to defend it against the German Emperor and 100,000 troops. The modern 
era had indeed begun. 

Only twice before had the Venetians been in such dire straits. They had been besieged in the 
lagoons in 810 AD by King Pepin of France, the heir of Charlemagne, and again by the Genoese 
during the war of Chioggia in 1379. 

To multiply the catastrophe, a few months before, the Venetians had received news of the naval 
battle of Diu in which an Egyptian fleet supported by Indian princes had been wiped out by the 
Portuguese navy. The old Venetian monopoly in the spice trade with the east was now a dead 
duck. 

At first the Venetians, now under siege in their lagoons, were totally isolated. Then it turned out 
that they did have a friend: the new King of England, Henry VIII. Advised by Cardinal Woolsey 
and the Cecils, Henry VIII urged Pope Julius to betray the League of Cambrai, and ally with 
Venice. When Julius first found that Henry VIII was supporting Venice, he was furious. Julius 
told the English ambassador: "You Englishmen are all scoundrels." But soon it was clear that 
Julius was not so far from Henry's position. Henry also offered the Venetians a loan, and signed a 
friendship treaty with them. 

Julius II della Rovere now switched sides, and by February, 1510 Julius was the ally of Venice in 



exchange for territorial cessions and some bribes. In the summer of 1510 the French and Imperial 
forces reached the lagoons a second time, but their flank was attacked by Julius, and Venice was 
preserved. Julius II must bear the historical responsibility of permitting the survival of Venice and 
thus of oligarchy into the modern world. 

1511 brought a third Franco-Imperial offensive, which once again reached the shores of the 
lagoons. Now Spain followed Julius and joined the Venetian-Papal alliance against France and the 
Empire. Henry VIII also joined this Holy League as a pretext for attacking France. 

In the spring of 15 12 came a new shift: the Emperor Maximilian decided to join Venice, the Pope, 
and Spain against the French. The Venetians took advantage of this, re-occupying their battered 
land empire for the third time. 

In February, 1513 Julius II della Rovere, who had made possible the survival of oligarchy into the 
modern world, finally died. About a month later the Venetians, desperately maneuvering to avoid 
being despoiled by their nominal allies, sealed an alliance with France. Venice now faced the 
attacks of the Spanish general Cardona. From the top of their bell towers the Venetians watched 
as the Spaniards burned the towns along the edge of the lagoon, and fired their cannon toward the 
city itself. Venice was on the verge of perdition for the fourth time, but Cardona had to retreat. 

The war dragged on through 1514. In September, 1515 the French and the Venetians finally won 
the key battle of Marignano. After that only Verona remained in the hands of the German Imperial 
forces, and Venice and the Emperor Maximilian finally signed a peace in 1517. In the same year of 
1517, a desperate Venetian wartime operation masterminded by Gasparo Contarini bore fruit 
when Luther nailed his theses to the door of Wittenberg cathedral. From this point on, religious 
conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in Germany and elsewhere would begin to relieve the 
immediate pressure on Venice. Venice was 5 million ducats in debt. For 8 years Venice had been 
devastated by the endless maneuvers of huge armies. Only the wars of religion, reformation and 
counter- reformation, saved Venice from being finally crushed. 

Venice had survived. There remained the question as to how this small and weak state could hope 
to impose its oligarchical axioms on future humanity. Part of the answer was the metastasis of the 
Venetian oligarchical cancer to take over a large modern state. For this the Venetians eventually 
chose England, the power that had been most friendly during the late war. 

But the roots of Venetian and Byzantine influence in England were much deeper. The Danish 
Viking invaders who opposed Alfred were instruments of the Byzantine Empire, whose influence 
reached Scandinavia along the Varangian way through Russia. The Norwegian army that invaded 
England in 1066 was commanded by a Byzantine general, Harold Hardrada. During the 1200?s 
Henry III of England was bankrupted by loans masterminded by the Venetians. When Edward III 
started the Hundred Years' War against France around 1340, he was an instrument of Venice, 
since the Venetians wanted to prevent France from interfering with their wars against Genoa. The 
Wars of the Roses had been fought by factions manipulated by the Venetians, who viewed Wat 
Tyler's rebellion and Wycliff s Lollards as a dress rehearsal for Luther. Venetian factions were 
dominant at the court of Henry VIII. So the Venetians moved their family fortunes and their 



characteristic world outlook to England. 



But the move to England and the creation of a British Empire were only part of the answer. As 
long as the forward motion of Renaissance science continued, the Venetians, the British, and all 
the others would be forced to imitate it and duplicate it, on pain of being militarily defeated. But 
the irrational domination of oligarchs could not coexist with continuous progress in science and 
technology. The Venetians could not simply attack science from the outside. They needed to seize 
control of science and corrupt science from within. 

This task fell to the Venetian intelligence leader Paolo Sarpi, who lived from 1552 to 1623. Sarpi 
became one of the most famous persons in Europe through his role as Venetian propaganda boss 
during the Pope's Interdict against Venice in 1606-1607. Sarpi authored the assassination of King 
Henry IV of France in 1610. And, with the help of his assets at the court of Frederick V in 
Heidelberg, Sarpi was decisive in starting the Thirty Years' War, which killed half of the 
population of Germany and one third of the population of Europe as a whole. 

Yet, Sarpi' s most lasting achievement is the launching of the European Enlightenment, including 
both the Bacon- Hobbes- Locke- Newton- Berkeley- Hume English empiricism and the 
Descartes- Voltaire- Rousseau- French Encyclopedia school. Sarpi was one of the greatest 
corrupters of science and philosophy. 

Sarpi was a Servite monk of modest origins who rose to be number two in his order. Early in life, 
he became an admirer of William of Ockham, one of the stupidest of the medieval nominalist 
philosophers. Sarpi was also a follower of Pomponazzi, the Venetian professor who argued that 
man has no soul. 

Sarpi lived in Rome and knew the main personalities of the Counter- Reformation, including Carlo 
Borromeo, Roberto Bellarmino, Pope Sixtus V, and the future Pope Urban VII. Sarpi soon 
became a creature of the Contarini and Morosini families, who were committed to the Venetian 
metastasis into northern Europe. The Contarini- Morosini faction, called the Giovani party, 
became dominant in Venice during the 1580?s. Sarpi became, in the words of the papal nuncio, 
the boss of half of Venice, and ran a salon for Calvinists and libertines which the Vatican attacked 
as an "academy of errors." 

The leading British authority on Sarpi is H.R. Trevor-Roper, now Lord Dacre, who calls the friar 
an "indefatigable polymath" or master of all the sciences. In reality, Sarpi was the chief corrupter 
of modern science, the greatest charlatan of all time. It is his doctrines which are taught in the 
universities today. 

In astronomy and physics, Sarpi was the case officer who directed the work of the Padua 
professor Galileo Galilei. Galileo wrote that Sarpi was a mathematician unexcelled in Europe, and 
contemporaries recognized that Sarpi had been the adviser, author, and director of Galileo's 
telescope project. Galileo's observations were done from Sarpi's monastery. The telescope itself 
had been invented by Leonardo. Galileo was until the end of his life a paid agent of the Sarpi 
group. 



Sarpi also tried to build up a reputation as an expert on magnetism, which fascinated him because 
of its magical overtones. In this he was praised by G.B. della Porta, the author of Magia Naturalis. 
Sarpi was also famous as a mathematician, and probably wrote a treatise of mathematics which 
was lost when his monastery burned in 1769. Sarpi had studied the French mathematician 
Francois Viete. In anatomy, the Venetians attempted to prove for many years that Sarpi had been 
the first to discover the valves in human veins, and even that he had been the first to describe the 
circulation of the blood, well before Harvey. 

Sarpi wrote A History of the Council of Trent, and his influence on historiography has been 
immense. John Milton is the English author who praises Sarpi at the greatest length. Milton used 
Sarpi as a major source, and praised him as the "great unmasker" of the papacy. Edward Gibbon, 
the author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was the leading historian of the British 
Venetian Party during the eighteenth century. In his great tome, Gibbon wrote: "Should Rome 
and her religion be annihilated, [Sarpi's] golden volume may still survive, a philosophical history 
and a salutary warning." Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay, the Venetian Party historian of the 
nineteenth century, was also an admirer of Sarpi. For today's Lord Dacre/Trevor- Roper, Sarpi 
was simply the greatest among all Catholic historians. So Sarpi was indeed a prodigy among 
oligarchs. 

But what of Sarpi the philosopher? Sarpi never published a work of philosophy, but the Venetian 
archives were found to contain his philosophical manuscripts, the "Art of Thinking Well" (Arte di 
Ben Pensare) and the "Thoughts" (Pensieri), which were published in 1910 and again more fully 
in 1951. Here we find that Sarpi created the basis of modern empiricism. His method was to 
assert that scientific truth was to be found not in Aristotle, but rather written in mathematical 
characters in the great book of life. The way to get this truth was to use sense certainty, exactly as 
Aristotle had recommended. Many of Aristotle's specific conclusions could be junked, but his 
method and thus his overall domination could be preserved. 

Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes both understood Italian. They and their protector, the Earl of 
Devonshire, corresponded with Sarpi and his group, with Hobbes doing the translation. Hobbes 
visited Venice in September, 1614 and probably met Sarpi. Bacon's inductive method is simply a 
bowdlerization of Sarpi. 

Hobbes belonged to the Sarpi networks all his life. The plan for Hobbes' career as a writer 
emerged from his meeting with Galileo in 1636, when Galileo suggested that Hobbes write a book 
of ethics according to the mathematical- geometrical method. All his life Hobbes went around 
blathering that motion was the only thing that mattered. One of Sarpi's Pensieri reads: "From the 
weakness of man derives his characteristic of living in society, but from man's depravity derives 
the need to live under a supreme authority...." [405] This, along with Sarpi's favorite theme of 
church-state conflict, is the substance of Hobbes' Leviathan. When Hobbes lived in Paris during 
the English civil war, he rubbed elbows with Venetian assets like Mersenne, Descartes, and 
Gassendi. Hobbes and Descartes quarreled, but also partied together. 

Then there is the question of Locke. Lord Macauley and other English writers treat Sarpi as one 
who anticipated Locke. In reality, Locke was a plagiarist of Sarpi. And for this we have the 



testimony of no less a personage than a mid-eighteenth century doge of Venice, Marco Foscarini. 
The doge writes that Sarpi's "Art of Thinking Well" is "the original from which Locke copied." 

Locke's first book argues that the mind is a blank slate without any inborn or innate ideas. This 
meshes exactly with Sarpi, who with Aristotle and Pomponazzi tries to show that nothing enters 
the mind except through the senses. The corollary of this is that there is no human soul. 

"Every body which moves operates on what it touches," is Sarpi's point of departure. Sarpi 
"shows how external objects operate on our senses, distinguishing between the object which 
creates the sensation and the sensation itself." The sensations we feel are not qualities of the 
objects, but phenomena of our intellect. The senses deliver the sensations through the nervous 
system. Then discursive reasoning or the active intellect comes into play with ideas of number and 
size. The discursive reasoning orders, combines, and compares sense-ideas which have been 
stored in memory. 

This is all closely parallel to Locke's second book. In "Art of Thinking Well," Sarpi writes that 
"knowledge by experience is of greater certainty than knowledge through reason, and no reason 
can ever manage to equal experience." Locke's second book states that all our knowledge is 
founded on and derives itself from experience. Experience comes from sensation or from 
reflection, reflection on the sense impressions already stored in the brain. Sarpi also discusses 
reflection, distinguishing between cognition and later reflection on that same cognition. 

Sarpi admits compound ideas, made up of more than one simple sense impression, and so does 
Locke. Sense impressions in general do not err, says Sarpi, although sometimes impaired vision 
and the like will cause distortions, and discursive reasoning can become confused. Locke's second 
book has similar remarks, with a discussion of color blindness. Both devote space to methods for 
fixing mistakes in processing sense ideas. 

Sarpi argues that the intellect orders ideas according to notions of genus, species, and essence. 
For Locke, "all the great business of genera and species, and their essences. . . amounts to no more 
than this: That. . . men. . . enable themselves to consider things in bundles. . . ." [II. 3 1] From these 
bundles, Sarpi goes on to definitions and then to axioms (ipolipsi). Locke prefers to address 
axioms as maxims, and he argues that they are of limited utility, serving mainly to win debates. 
Sarpi is even more pessimistic, asserting that knowledge is actually harmful, and that animals are 
better off in their natural ignorance than we are. 

Sarpi and Locke also agree on the value of syllogisms, which they also consider to be quite 
limited. Sarpi warns that syllogisms can often be perverse in form. Locke, wanting to show that he 
is fully modern and in no way a scholastic or schoolman, also denies every claim made for the 
syllogism - although he hastens to add that this does not in the least diminish the prestige of 
Aristotle. 

Sarpi ends with some notes on language, saying that words were invented not to identify things, 
but rather the ideas of the speaker. Locke reproduces this argument in toto, stating that ". . .all 
words. . . signify nothing immediately but the ideas in the mind of the speaker." [11.32] Sarpi 



regards words as sources of confusion and errors, as does Locke. 

Most of Locke's modern editors and biographers make no mention of Sarpi. But the catalogue of 
Locke's library shows a lively interest in the Venetian. Locke owned Sarpi's works in 6 volumes, 
Sarpi's histories of the Council of Trent and of the Inquisition, Sarpi's Italian letters, his history of 
Pope Paul IV, plus Micanzio's first biography of Sarpi, for a total of 13 books 

Sarpi uses 22 pages, while Locke requires just short of 1000. But there is no doubt that Sarpi, 
whatever his obscurity, is the founder of modern British empiricism and as such the chief 
philosophical charlatan of the British Empire and the English- speaking peoples, including many 
Americans today. In this way, Sarpi has become the most popular and influential thinker of the 
modern world. The dead hand of Paolo Sarpi is reaching out of his sarcophagus once again, 
threatening to throttle world civilization. 

How the Venetian System Was Transplanted Into England 

New Federalist, June 3, 1996 

The oligarchical system of Great Britain is not an autochthonous product of English or British 
history. It represents rather the tradition of the Babylonians, Romans, Byzantines, and Venetians 
which has been transplanted into the British Isles through a series of upheavals. The status of 
Britain as the nation foutue of modern history is due in particular to the sixteenth and seventeenth 
century metastasis into England and Scotland of the Venetian oligarchy along with its philosophy, 
political forms, family fortunes, and imperial geopolitics. The victory of the Venetian party in 
England between 1509 and 1715 built in turn upon a pre-existing foundation of Byzantine and 
Venetian influence. 

NOBLE VENETIAN: . . .pray tell us what other prerogatives the King [of England] enjoys in 
the government; for otherwise, I who am a Venetian, may be apt to think that our Doge, who is 
called our prince, may have as much power as yours. 

Henry Neville, Plato Redivivus, 1681 

One of the best governments in English history was that of King Alfred the Great, who ruled from 
871 to 899. Alfred pursued a policy of literacy, education, and nation-building, and stands as a 
founder of Old English literature. The Byzantine Empire saw in Alfred a flare-up of the Platonic 
Christian humanism of the Irish monks and Alcuin of York, the principal adviser to Charlemagne a 
century earlier. Byzantium accordingly incited Vikings and Varangians, who had been defeated by 
Alfred the Great, to renew their attacks on England. 

Then, in 1066, two armies converged on England. The first was the Norwegian army of King 
Harold Hardrada ("the pitiless"), a Byzantine general who had served as the commander of the 
Imperial Guard in Constantinople. Harold Hardrada was killed by the English at Stamford Bridge 
in 1066. But in that same year the weakened English forces were defeated at Hastings by William 
of Normandy ("the Conqueror"). Thus began the Norman Yoke, imposed by Norman oligarchs 



and a century of Norman kings. 

The next dynasty, the Plantagenets, featured such figures as Richard I Lionheart, a flamboyant 
homosexual who avidly participated in the Venetian- sponsored Crusades in the eastern 
Mediterranean. The Magna Carta extorted from Richard's successor King John in 1215 had 
nothing to do with political liberties in the modern sense, but protected the license of marauding 
feudal barons against the central monarchy. The enforcement machinery of the Magna Carta 
permitted the barons lawfully to wage war upon the King in case their grievances were not 
settled. Since civil war and private warfare were by far the greatest curses of society at that time, 
England was held hostage to parasitical feudal overlords that a more centralized (or "absolute") 
monarchy might have mitigated. The barons, whose sociopathic prerogatives were anchored in the 
Magna Carta by a license for civil war, were easily the most reactionary element in English 
society, and were susceptible to easy manipulation by Venice, which had now conquered 
Byzantium and was approaching the apogee of its power. 

Venetian influence in England was mediated by banking. Venetian oligarchs were a guiding force 
among the Lombard bankers who carried out the "great shearing" of England which led to the 
bankruptcy of the English King Henry III, who, during the 1250?s, repudiated his debts and went 
bankrupt. The bankruptcy was followed by a large- scale civil war. 

It was under Venetian auspices that England started the catastrophic conflict against France 
known today as the Hundred Years' War. In 1340, King Edward III of England sent an embassy 
to Doge Gradenigo announcing his intention to wage war on France, and proposing an 
Anglo -Venetian alliance. Gradenigo accepted Edward Ill's offer that all Venetians on English soil 
would receive all the same privileges and immunities enjoyed by Englishmen. The Venetians 
accepted the privileges, and declined to join in the fighting. Henceforth, English armies laying 
waste to the French towns and countryside would do so as Venetian surrogates. France was in no 
position to interfere in the final phase of the rivalry between Venice and Genoa, which was 
decided in favor of Venice. The degeneracy of English society during these years of Venetian 
ascendancy is chronicled in the writings of Chaucer - the greatest English writer of the age - who 
was an ally of the anti- Venetian Dante- Petrarca- Boccaccio grouping. 

The Venetians concocted myths to enhance their influence on English society. For the nobility and 
the court, there was the anti-Christian myth of King Arthur and his Round Table of oligarchs 
seeking the Holy Grail. For the mute and downtrodden masses, there was the myth of Robin 
Hood, who by robbing from the rich to give to the poor combined plunder with class struggle. 

During the wartime 1370?s, the population of England collapsed by 1.5 million souls, from a total 
of 4 to 2.5 million, because of the Black Death, which itself resulted from Venetian debt service 
policies. The year 1381 saw an uprising in London and southeast England on a program of 
abolishing feudal dues, free use of forests, and an end to the tithes or taxes collected by the 
church. This was called Wat Tyler's rebellion, which ended when Wat was killed by the Mayor of 
London. Contemporary with this was the rise of Lollardry, the prototype of English Protestantism 
promoted by John Wycliffe, the Oxford scholastic. Wycliffe's anti-clerical campaign had many 
easy targets, but his theology was inferior and his stress on every person's right to read and 



interpret the Bible was designed to spawn a myriad of fundamentalist fanatics. 

Lollardry as a social phenomenon had a specific Venetian pedigree, best seen through the 
prevalence among the Lollard rank and file of the belief that the soul is not immortal and dies with 
the body. This is the mortalist heresy, and can more accurately be called the Venetian heresy, 
because of its deep roots within the Venetian oligarchy. Later, beginning in the early sixteenth 
century, the University of Padua and Pietro Pomponazzi were notorious for their advocacy of 
mortalism. 

In 1377 Wycliffe was saved from prosecution by an uprising of the London mob. Lollardry kept 
going for centuries as an underground religion for the disinherited kept going by itinerant 
preachers. During Queen Elizabeth's time, Lollardry lived in the form of sects called the Familists 
and the Grindletonians. These finally flowed into the Puritan Revolution of the 1640?s. Lollardy 
contained a strong dose of primitive socialism; Lollard leaders like John Ball and "Jack Straw" 
preached social revolution with slogans such as, "When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was 
then the gentleman?" This is the ultimate source of that communism which David Urquhardt 
taught Karl Marx five centuries later. Finally, Lollardry spread into central Europe through the 
medium of the Hussites of Bohemia and caused a series of wars of religion there. In seventeenth- 
century England there was a slogan to the effect that Wycliffe begat Hus, Hus begat Luther, and 
Luther begat truth. There is every reason to view the Lollards as a Venetian pilot project for 
Luther's 1517 launching of the Reformation during the war of the League of Cambrai. 

The English defeat in the Hundred Years' War (1453) left English society in a shambles. This was 
the setting for the oligarchical chaos and civil war known as the Wars of the Roses, which pitted 
the House of York with its symbol the white rose against the House of Lancaster with its red 
rose. Both groupings derived from quarrels among the seven sons of the pro-Venetian Edward 
III, who had started the wars with France. The Wars of the Roses, fought between 1455 and 
1485, brought English society to the point of breakdown. 

From this crisis England was saved by the coming of Henry Tudor, the Earl of Richmond, who 
became king as Henry VII. It was under Henry VII that England began to become a modern state 
and to participate in the Renaissance progress associated with Medici Florence and the France of 
Louis XI. The precondition for the revival of England was the suppression of the pro-Venetian 
oligarchy, the barons. Conveniently, these had been decimated by their own handiwork of civil 
war. Henry VII set himself up as the Big Policeman against the oligarchs. Henry VII established 
for the central government an effective monopoly of police and military powers. One of the 
reasons for the great ineptitude demonstrated by both sides in the English Civil War of the 1640?s 
is that under the Tudors the nobility and gentry had largely forgotten how to wage civil war. 

Like that of Louis XI, Henry VII' s policy was based on an alliance of the crown with the urban 
trading and productive classes against the latifundist barons. Barons were excluded from the state 
administration, which relied rather on city merchants who were much more likely to be loyal to 
the king. Since the oligarchs routinely intimidated local courts, Henry VII gave new prominence 
to the court of the Star Chamber, a special royal court designed to impose central authority on the 
barons. The private armies of oligarchs along with other bandits and pirates were liquidated. 



Henry VII was an active dirigist, promoting trading companies to expand overseas commerce. 
Under the Tudor state, England existed as a nation, with relative internal stability and a clear 
dynastic succession. 

Henry VII's suppression of the oligarchs displeased Venice. Venice also did not like Henry's 
policy of alliance with Spain, secured by the marriage of his heir to Catherine of Aragon. Henry 
VII in fact sought good relations with both France and Spain. The Venetians wanted England to 
become embroiled with both France and Spain. Venice was also fundamentally hostile to the 
modern nation-state, which Henry was promoting in England. When Henry VII's son Henry VIII 
turned out to be a murderous pro-Venetian psychotic and satyr, the Venetians were able to 
re-assert their oligarchical system. 

Henry VIII was King of England between 1509 and 1547. His accession to the throne coincided 
with the outbreak of the War of the League of Cambrai, in which most European states, including 
France, the Holy Roman Empire (Germany), Spain, and the papacy of Pope Julius II della Rovere 
joined together in a combination that bid fair to annihilate Venice and its oligarchy. The League of 
Cambrai was the world war that ushered in the modern era. Henry VIII attracted the attention of 
the Venetian oligarchy when he - alone among the major rulers of Europe - maintained a 
pro-Venetian position during the crisis years of 1509-1510, just as Venice was on the brink of 
destruction. Henry VIII was for a time the formal ally of Venice and Pope Julius. The Venetian 
oligarchy became intrigued with England. 

In 1527, when Henry VIII sought to divorce Catherine of Aragon, the Venetian-controlled 
University of Padua endorsed Henry's legal arguments. Gasparo Contarini, the dominant political 
figure of the Venetian oligarchy, sent to the English court a delegation which included his own 
uncle, Francesco Zorzi. The oligarch and intelligence operative Zorzi, consummately skilled in 
playing on Henry's lust and paranoia, became the founder of the powerful Rosicrucian, Hermetic, 
cabalistic, and Freemasonic tradition in the Tudor court. Later, Henry VIII took the momentous 
step of breaking with the Roman Papacy to become the new Constantine and founder of the 
Anglican Church. He did this under the explicit advice of Thomas Cromwell, a Venetian agent 
who had become his chief adviser. Thomas Cromwell was Henry VIII' s business agent in the 
confiscation of the former Catholic monasteries and other church property, which were sold off to 
rising families. Thomas Cromwell thus served as the midwife to many a line of oligarchs. 

Under the impact of the War of the League of Cambrai, the Venetian oligarchy realized the futility 
of attempting a policy of world domination from the tiny base of a city-state among the lagoons of 
the northern Adriatic. As was first suggested by the present writer in 1981, the Venetian oligarchy 
(especially its "giovani" faction around Paolo Sarpi) responded by transferring its family fortunes 
(fondi), philosophical outlook, and political methods into such states as England, France, and the 
Netherlands. Soon the Venetians decided that England (and Scotland) was the most suitable site 
for the New Venice, the future center of a new, world-wide Roman Empire based on maritime 
supremacy. Success of this policy required oligarchical domination and the degradation of the 
political system by wiping out any Platonic humanist opposition. 

The overall Venetian policy was to foment wars of religion between the Lutherans, Calvinists, and 



Anglicans on the one hand, and the Jesuit-dominated Catholic Counter- reformation of the 
Council of Trent on the other. The Venetians had spawned both sides of this conflict, and 
exercised profound influence over them. The Venetians insisted on the maintenance of a 
Protestant dynasty and a Protestant state church in England, since this made conflict with the 
Catholic powers more likely. The Venetians demanded an anti- Spanish policy on the part of 
London, generally to energize the imperial rivalry with Madrid, and most immediately to prevent 
the Spanish army stationed in Milan from getting an opportunity to conquer Venice. 

The destruction of the English mind was fostered by the Venetians under the banner of murderous 
religious fanaticism. Under Henry VIII, the English population continued in their traditional 
Roman Catholicism, which had been established in 644 at the synod of Whitby. Then, in 1534, 
Henry's and Thomas Cromwell's Act of Supremacy made the Roman Pope anathema. Those who 
refused to follow Henry VIII down this path, like St. Thomas More and many others, were 
executed. This first phase of Anglicanism lasted until 1553, when the Catholic Queen Mary I 
("Bloody Mary," the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon) took power. Mary 
re-established Papal authority and married King Philip of Spain. Bloody Mary's main adviser in 
her proscriptions was Cardinal Reginald Pole, who had lived in Venice for some years and was 
part of the immediate circle around Gasparo Contarini. Henry VIII had feared Pole, an heir to the 
Plantagenets, as a possible pretender, and Pole had done everything to excite Henry's paranoia. 
Pole incited Bloody Mary to carry out a bloodbath with 300 to 500 prominent victims. These 
executions of the "Marian martyrs" were immortalized in John Foxe's celebrated Book of Martyrs 
(1554 ff), a copy of which was later kept in every church in England and which attained the 
status of a second Bible among Protestants of all types. The events orchestrated by Pole seemed 
to many Englishmen to prove the thesis that a Catholic restoration would threaten their lives and 
property. 

Bloody Mary died in 1558 and was succeeded by Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII and 
Anne Boleyn. From the Catholic point of view Elizabeth was a bastard, so it was sure that she 
would rule as a Protestant. Elizabeth forcibly restored her father's Anglican or Episcopal Church. 

Three times within the span of 25 years the English population was thus coerced into changing 
their religion under the threat of capital punishment. Three times, the supposedly eternal verities 
taught by the village parson were turned upside down, clearly because of dynastic ambition and 
raison d'etat. The moral, psychological, and intellectual destruction involved in this process was 
permanent and immense. 

Elizabeth's anti-Catholic and anti-Spanish policies fulfilled the basic Venetian imperatives. The 
struggle against the Spanish Armada in 1588 also gave these policies an undeniable popularity. 
Elizabeth was for 40 years under the influence of William Cecil, whom she created First Baron of 
Burleigh and Lord Treasurer. The Cecils were notorious assets of Venice; their ancestral home at 
Hatfield house was festooned with Lions of St. Mark. When William Cecil was too old to act as 
Elizabeth's controller, he was succeeded by his son Robert Cecil, the 1st Earl of Salisbury. The 
Venetian- Genoese Sir Horatio Pallavicini was an important controller of English state finance. 

Elizabeth's economic policies had strong elements of dirigism and mercantilism. The numerous 



industrial monopolies she promoted had the result of establishing new areas of production in the 
country. Cecil developed the merchant marine and the navy. There were taxes to support those 
unable to work, and a detailed regulation of jobs and working conditions. Many of these 
successful measures were coherent with the Venetian desire to build up England as the new world 
empire and as a counterweight to the immense power of Spain. 

At the death of Elizabeth, Robert Cecil masterminded the installation of the Stuart King of 
Scotland as King James I of England. Cecil was for a time James' key adviser. James I was a 
pederast and pedant, an individual of flamboyant depravity, an open homosexual who made his 
male lovers into the court favorites. In addition to pederasty, James aspired to tyranny. 

James I was a leading theoretician of the divine right of kings. He delivered long speeches to the 
parliament, telling the wealthy latifundists and the Puritan merchant oligarchs of London that they 
could as little tell him what to do as they could tell God what to do. Policy, said James, was 
"king's craft" and thus "far above their reach and capacity." James I was an enthusiastic supporter 
of Paolo Sarpi in Sarpi's 1606 struggle against the Papal Interdict. James I did this in part because 
he thought he had received his crown directly from God, without any mediation by the Pope. 
Venetian influence at the Stuart court was accordingly very great. Sarpi even talked of retiring to 
England. 

James was also an occultist. Shakespeare left London not long after the coming of James, and 
died after unwisely sitting down to drinks with the Aristotelian hack Ben Jonson. 

James's feeble pro-Spanish appeasement policy bitterly disappointed Paolo Sarpi, Cecil's boss and 
the leading Venetian intelligence chief of the era. James made peace with Spain in 1604, ending 19 
years of war. Cecil then tried to induce James into an anti-Spanish policy with a planned 
provocation - Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder plot of 1605. Sarpi schemed to unleash the Thirty 
Years' War (1618-1648) as an apocalyptic confrontation between Protestant and Catholic 
Europe, and he wanted England in the fray. James's adviser, Sir Francis Bacon of the Cecil family, 
urged James to enter the war against Spain and Austria, but James first attempted to mediate the 
conflict and then did nothing. Charles I was equally disappointing: He married the Catholic 
Princess Henrietta Maria of France, and helped France to defeat the French Calvinists or 
Huguenots - a Venetian asset - in their stronghold of LaRochelle. 

The early Stuarts were unable to assert England as a great power because war required taxes, and 
taxes required the vote of Parliament, which they did not wish to convoke, since it would 
undercut their claims of divine right. Between 1628 and 1639, Charles I attempted to rule as an 
autocrat, without calling a Parliament. English naval power grew so weak that even ships bringing 
coal coastwise from Newcastle upon Tyne to London were not protected from pirates. This 
outraged the City of London and its Puritan merchants, followers of doctrines derived from 
Calvin of Geneva. 

With their tirades about their own divine right, the early Stuarts were violating a cardinal point of 
the Venetian political code. Venice was an oligarchy ruled by, at most, a few thousand male 
nobles. In practice, power belonged to several dozen patrician leaders. But no single patrician was 



strong enough to dominate all the rest as dictator. The Grand Council (Maggior Consilgio) was 
the general assembly of the nobility, and elected the Senate or Pregadi. The Grand Council, using 
a complicated procedure, also elected the Doge or Duke, who occupied the highest post in the 
state. The Doge was accordingly an elected and limited executive who served for life. This office 
was never hereditary; when one Doge died, a new one was elected by the Maggior Consiglio. The 
Doge was surrounded by his cabinet or Collegio, including the ministers (savi) of various 
departments. Under this system, the Doge was not the leader of a nation and the protector of all 
the people, as an absolute monarch might be; he was the chief functionary of a consortium of 
noble families who owned and ran the state for the private profit of their own fondi. For the 
Venetians, an oligarchy required the weak executive power of a Doge, and this was the system 
they wanted transplanted into their clone, England. 

These issues were prominent in seventeenth-century Europe. Louis XIV of France in his better 
moments exemplified the benefits of centralistic absolutism, as directed against the pro-Venetian 
French nobles responsible for the civil wars of the Fronde and the wars of religion. Colbert 
pursued economic unification by wiping out local interests intent on collecting parasitical taxes. 
Louis compelled the great nobility to be towel-boys and fixtures at Versailles, while the French 
departments were ruled by Intendants sent by the king. A little later, in Russia, some of the same 
issues were fought out between the centralizing absolutist Peter the Great and the great latifundist 
nobles, known in Russia as the boyars. Real economic and social development was best served by 
breaking the power of the aristocracy. England, by contrast, was the country where the triumph of 
the oligarchs was eventually most complete. (This is even clearer if we bear in mind that the 
English gentry and squires correspond to the level of count in the continental titled aristocracy.) 
The English gentry were determined that they, and not intendants from the government in 
Whitehall, would rule in the shires. 

When Charles I was forced to call a Parliament in 1640 because he needed money, a conflict 
between oligarchy and monarchy developed. The House of Commons theoretically represented 
men with property capable of bringing in 40 shillings per year; this was the threshold of free 
subjects who had a stake in the state. The Commons were elected by about one-tenth of the 
people of England. The House of Lords was full of latifundists, but it was estimated that the 
landowners and merchants of the House of Commons were rich enough to buy the House of 
Lords three times over. Parliamentary leaders like Pym and Hampden wanted to establish an 
oligarchy by the surrender of the King to Parliament so they could build up a navy and hasten the 
looting of the Spanish Empire in the Caribbean. They wanted a more vigorous pursuit of the slave 
trade. Pym and Hampden asserted Parliamentary authority by passing bills of impeachment and 
attainder against royal favorites like Strafford and Archbishop Laud, the head of the Church of 
England, who were both executed. In 1641, Charles I tried to arrest Pym and Hampden. The 
pro-Venetian City of London, the ports, and the south and east of England rebelled against this 
botched coup by the stupid King, who fled north. The English Civil War, or Puritan Revolution, 
was on. Many English were appalled by the miserable level of leadership and wretched programs 
of both the sides. A contemporary wrote that many people tried to remain neutral because they 
thought that "both sides raised an unlawful war, or . . .could not tell which (if either) was in the 
right. . . ." The civil war was artificially imposed by two rival London cliques, both under Venetian 
influence. 



England would be the only major European country in which a war of religion would be fought 
between two pro -Venetian Protestant factions - the Anglican royalist cavaliers and the 
Parliamentary Puritan Roundheads. One result would be the liquidation of the remaining positive 
and dirigist features of the Tudor state. 

During the first phase of the civil war, (1642-1646), there emerged two factions among the 
Parliamentarian Roundheads. A more conservative group favored a limited, defensive war against 
Charles I, followed by a negotiated peace. They hoped to defeat Charles by using a foreign army, 
preferably the Scottish one, in order to avoid arming the English lower orders. The Scots 
demanded for England a Presbyterian state church on the model of their own kirk - run by synods 
of Calvinist elders - but that was what the majority of the Long Parliament wanted anyway. So 
this faction came to be called the Presbyterians. Among them were the Calvinist town oligarchy of 
London. 

The other group wanted total war and eventually the execution of the King and the end of the 
monarchy and the House of Lords. This group was willing to accept a standing army of sectarian 
religious fanatics in order to prevail. This group was called the Independents or 
Congregationalists. They were favored by Venice. Oliver Cromwell emerged as the leader of this 
second group. 

Oliver Cromwell was a Venetian agent. Prominent in Oliver Cromwell's family tree was the 
widely hated Venetian agent Thomas Cromwell (1485-1540), Earl of Essex and the author of 
Henry VIII' s decision to break with Rome and found the Church of England. Oliver Cromwell 
(1599-1658) was descended from Thomas Cromwell's sister. Oliver Cromwell's uncle had 
married the widow of the Genoese- Venetian financier Sir Horatio Pallavicini. This widow 
brought two children by her marriage to Pallavicini and married them to her own later Cromwell 
children. So the Cromwell family was intimately connected to the world of Venetian finance. One 
of the leading figures of Parliament, John Hampden, was Oliver Cromwell's cousin. Cromwell's 
home was in the Fens, the large swamp in eastern England. The swamp- dwelling Venetians, true 
to form, came to choose another swamp- dweller as their prime asset of the moment. 

Cromwell ridiculed the weakness of the Parliamentary army, which he said was made up of 
"decayed tapsters" (elderly waiters). Cromwell's own Ironsides regiment was made up of 
relatively well-off cavalrymen of heterodox religious views. This regiment was highly effective 
against the Royalist or Cavalier forces. The Ironsides contained numerous Independents. It also 
contained many of the more extreme sects. Some of the most important roots of modern 
communism can be found in the sects represented in Cromwell's Ironsides. 

After 1640, the censorship of printed books practically collapsed. The church courts, which 
prosecuted crimes like heresy and blasphemy broke down. Especially in the City of London, but 
also in the countryside, a lunatic fringe of radical religious sects began to gather followers. What 
boiled up reflected the pervasive influence of Venetian kookery in England going back to 
Wycliffe. Ideas came to the surface which went back to Francesco Zorzi and Edmund Spenser, to 
Francis Bacon, Robert Fludd, and Bernardino Ochino, one of Contarini's Italian Protestants or 
spirituali who had been active in London around 1550 under Edward VI. 



There were the Levellers, radical democrats of the Jeffersonian or sans culotte type, who wanted 
to expand the franchise for Parliamentary elections - although they would have left half or more 
without the vote. Apprentices, laborers, and servants would remain disenfranchised. Levellers 
wanted no monarchy, no House of Lords, no monopolies, no tithes, and no state church. Their 
petitions sound well today, but so do parts of the Jacobin Club's Declaration of the Rights of 
Man. Among the Leveller leaders were John Lilburne, Richard Overton, and Sir John Wildman. 
The latter two were double agents, taking money from Royalists as well as from Thurloe, the 
director of Cromwell's secret police. 

Sir John Wildman was a land speculator and an agent of the Duke of Buckingham (as Pepys's 
diary tells us). He plotted against every regime from Cromwell to William III. He was a member 
of Harrington's Rota Club, a nest of Venetian agents in 1659-1660. He appears as a classic type 
of Venetian provocateur. Richard Overton was the author of the tract Mans Mortalitie, which 
argues that the soul dies with the body - the Venetian heresy once again. As for Lilburne, he died 
in jail after becoming a Quaker. 

In 1647, with the Royalist forces wiped out, the Presbyterian faction tried to disband the army, 
and the Levellers responded by electing Agitators - in effect, political commissars - for each 
regiment. But the Leveller movement was soon crushed by Cromwell. 

Other groups owed their continued existence to the pro-toleration policies of the Ironsides, which 
Cromwell often respected. There were the True Levellers or Diggers, with Gerard Winstanley as 
main spokesman. Winstanley supported mortalism, the Venetian heresy. The Diggers in 1649 
began to form communes to squat on land and cultivate it - three centuries before Chairman Mao. 
Their idea was primitive communism and the abolition of wage labor. Private property they 
condemned as one of the results of Adam's Fall. Their program was "Glory Here!," the creation 
of heaven on earth. With the communist, materialist (and some would say, atheist) Gerard 
Winstanley, we see the Anglo -Venetian roots of the later Marxism financed and directed by Lord 
Palmerston's stooge David Urquhardt. 

Then came the Ranters, devotees of the antinomian heresy, the free love party. The Ranters, many 
of whom were ex-Levellers, held that sin and the law had been abolished - at least for the elect - 
leaving mankind with "perfect freedom and true Libertinism." Some of them thought that 
fornication and adultery were positive religious duties, necessary to enjoy a maximum of grace. 
Ranter leaders included Laurence Clarkson and Abiezer Coppe. Clarkson supported mortalism, 
the Venetian heresy. The Ranter John Robins proclaimed that he was God and agitated to lead 
140,000 men to conquer the Holy Land - thus foreshadowing later British policy in the Middle 
East. Ranters were heavily repressed. 

The Quakers, a new sect in those days, had not yet made their pacifist turn. Often Ranters became 
Quakers. Many of them were highly militaristic troopers in Cromwell's New Model Army. 
Quakers were heavily represented in the English army that carried out Cromwell's genocide 
against Ireland. But Quaker James Naylor was cruelly punished for blasphemy after he re-enacted 
at Bristol Christ's Palm Sunday entry into Jerusalem. In 1657, the Quaker leader George Fox 
criticized the English army because it had not yet seized Rome. Pacifism was adopted only after 



the Stuart Restoration, in 1661. 

The other group that came out of the Ranter milieu was the Muggletonians, led by John Reeve 
and Lodowick Muggleton, who claimed that they had been commissioned by God in 1652 to 
serve as the Two Last Witnesses foretold in Revelations 1 1 . Muggletonians supported mortalism, 
the Venetian heresy; they were also anti-Trinitarians and materialists. If formal positions on 
theological issues are counted up, John Milton turns out to have been very close to the 
Muggletonians. The Muggletonians kept going in Britain until about 1970. 

The Fifth Monarchists were radical millenarians, believing that the Second Coming and the Rule 
of the Saints were close at hand - some thought as close as the Barebones Parliament convened 
under the Commonwealth in 1653. Some Fifth Monarchists in the Barebones Parliament wanted 
to re-impose the Mosaic law in place of the English common law, and wanted a Sanhedrin of the 
Saints to assume state power. Diminishing interest in the New Testament was also documented by 
the official banning around this time of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost (Whitsunday), which 
were all condemned as popish idolatry. The roots of the British Israelite movement are clearly 
revealed. 

There were also the Seekers, who thought all existing religions were inadequate; they claimed 
they were still looking for the right one. One Seeker was Milton's friend and language teacher 
Roger Williams, later of Rhode Island. Finally, there were the extreme sectaries, parties of one, 
unable to get along with any of the above. John Milton was an example of these. 

These were the Hydra-like components of the army which was Cromwell's power base. Cromwell 
attacked all the sects at certain times, but leaned heavily on them at other times. But he always 
relied for his power upon the army, of which the sectarians were the backbone. In 1648, Colonel 
Pride, acting for Cromwell, expelled from the Long Parliament some 100 of the most Presbyterian 
members, some of whom had been negotiating under the table with Charles I, by now a captive of 
the Army. What was left, was called the Rump Parliament. Cromwell then tried Charles I for 
treason and executed him on 30 January 1649. The Commonwealth was declared and the 
monarchy abolished. 

Cromwell's problem was now to govern a country in which no elected Parliament could 
countenance the army and its gun-toting sectarian iconoclasts. The Rump, which harbored its own 
desires of becoming a ruling oligarchy, was dispersed by Cromwell's troops in 1653. The next 
Parliament, the Barebones, was a hand-picked selection of the godly, many nominated by 
Independent congregations. The Barebones was modeled as an oligarchy: it chose a Council of 
State as its own executive, and was supposed to choose its own successors before it disbanded. 
Instead, Major-General Thomas Harrison of the New Model Army, convinced he was the Son of 
God, dominated the proceedings. A moderate faction around Major Gen. Lambert caused the 
dissolution of the Barebones with a coup de main. For many sectaries, Cromwell suddenly went 
from being the New Moses to being the small horn of the Antichrist. 

Cromwell accepted the Instrument of Government, the first written constitution of England. The 
franchise was restricted, going up from the old 40-shilling freehold to a personal net worth of 200 



pounds, which meant much greater wealth. The Parliament was made more oligarchical. 
Cromwell was named Lord Protector. The Protector was backed up by a Council of State of 
generals serving for life. The first Protectorate Parliament refused to fund the standing army (now 
57,000 troops) and rebelled against toleration (toleration of the sects), so Cromwell dissolved it in 
January 1655. This was already Cromwell's third dissolution; he would ultimately make it four. 

In March 1655, Cromwell decided in favor of a "thorough" Bonapartist military dictatorship. The 
country was divided into 1 1 ad hoc districts, and a major-general of the army was put in charge of 
each district. The major-generals controlled the local militia, ran the courts, appointed all officials, 
and suppressed public immorality. All of this was done arbitrarily, with little reference to law. At 
the same time, secretary Thurloe, the Lavrenti Beria of the regime, extended his secret tentacles 
into every pore of society and into every country of Europe. The rule of the Major-Generals 
prefigured European fascism. But they alienated many oligarchs who found this interference far 
worse than that of Charles I. 

The second Protectorate parliament was impelled by desperation to pass the Humble Petition and 
Advice, which urged Cromwell to take up the crown. But it was a doge's crown, a limited 
monarchy of the House of Cromwell subject to Parliament. Under pressure from the army 
generals, Cromwell declined the title of king but accepted all the rest. In February 1658, 
Cromwell dissolved his last Parliament, and died the same year. His son Richard attempted to 
rule, but left after a few months. 1659-1660 was a time of great chaos, with the restored Rump 
alternating with direct army rule. Finally, the army split into pieces; the commander of the winning 
piece, General Monck, joined the new Parliament in recalling Charles II, the son of the executed 
Charles I. 

Observing these events, the pro-Venetian writer John Milton - who had been Latin secretary to 
Cromwell's Council of State - lamented that the City of London had concluded that "nothing but 
kingship can restore trade." Milton's "Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth," 
issued in March, 1660, proposed a regime based on a Grand Council along explicitly Venetian 
lines, with life tenure and co-optation of new members. This could be obtained, Milton thought, 
by declaring the Rump perpetual and capable of co-opting new members when the old ones died 
off. Milton had wanted religious tolerance, but he was willing to sacrifice this to obtain an 
oligarchy without a single-person executive. Milton effusively praised Venice, which had made its 
"whole aristocracy immovable" with similar methods. 

During this time, Milton was close to the Rota Club, a pro-Venetian salon dominated by James 
Harrington, author of the book Oceana and one of the most important Venetian ideologues in 
England. Harrington was the direct precursor of the great Whig aristocrats of the Venetian Party 
who were frequently in power after 1688. Other Rota members included Milton's close friend 
Cyriack Skinner, the economist Sir William Petty, the intelligence operative Sir John Wildman, the 
Fifth Monarchist Thomas Venner (who had led and would lead abortive uprisings in London), the 
diarist Samuel Pepys, and Andrew Marvell, poet and member of Parliament. There was also the 
Rumper Henry Neville, who propagandized Harrington's views in his political dialogue Plato 
Redivivus of 1681. There were Sir John Hoskins, later president of the Royal Society, and 
Richard Sackville, the Fifth Earl of Dorset. Charles II assumed power later in 1660. 



Today some members of the British oligarchy are calling for the end of the monarchy and the 
creation of a republic. We must recall that the last time this was tried, the result was the fascist 
dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell and his major-generals. A "republic" in Britain in the early 21st 
century might turn out to be a military dictatorship rather similar to Cromwell's, with animal 
rights freaks acting the part of the Ranters and Diggers. 

So what had the Puritan Revolution accomplished, beyond killing 500,000 persons? First, 
Cromwell had founded the British Empire. Between 1651 and 1660 he had added 200 warships to 
the British Navy, more than the early Stuarts had managed to build during their 40-year tenure. 
Cromwell's war with the Dutch (1652-1654), which hardly made sense for a Puritan, made plenty 
of sense in the light of the 1,700 Dutch ships captured. Cromwell set up a convoy system for 
English merchant vessels, including those bringing coal from Newcastle. The basis of British naval 
domination was thus laid. After making peace with Holland, Cromwell made war on Spain, in 
exact conformity with Venetian requirements. Cromwell conquered: Jamaica, St. Helena, 
Surinam, Dunkirk, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (in Canada). In addition, he established the 
status of the Portuguese Empire as a satellite and auxiliary of London. It was under Cromwell that 
English ships established a permanent presence in the Mediterranean; in his last years, he was 
considering the conquest of Gibraltar to facilitate this stationing. Jamaica, a center of the slave 
trade, stood out in what was called the Western Design - making war on Spain in the New World. 

Cromwell was also personally responsible for the campaign of genocide and starvation in Ireland 
that began with the 1649 massacre of the garrison of Drogheda. Cromwell told the Parliament 
that if he waged war according to international law and the rules of war, the campaign would be 
too expensive. So Cromwell relied on massacres and famine. Cromwell's genocide eventually 
killed about one -third of the Irish population. Cromwell also invaded and reduced Scotland, which 
had switched to the Stuart cause in 1649. This laid the basis for the myth of a "British" people as 
a label imposed on Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and English victims of an oligarchy not of Englishmen, 
but of Venetians and their tools. Until 1991 there was talk of a "Soviet" people, but this is now 
nowhere to be found. Perhaps the fraud of a "British" people will also not survive too long. 

Cromwell's rule marked the triumph of free trade, as it was understood at that time. All attempts 
by government to supervise the quality of production, to fix prices, to maintain jobs and 
employment, to influence labor- management relations, or to influence wage rates were wholly 
abandoned. The City of London demanded free trade. It got the abolition of all industrial 
monopolies, which had previously covered some 700 staple products. Laissez-faire was 
established in every sphere. Whatever the Restoration Stuarts tried to change in this regard was 
immediately rolled back after 1688. 

In the years after Cromwell, it was estimated that cottagers and paupers, laborers and servants, 
who had no property and no vote, made up half of the population of England. One-third of all 
English households were exempted from the Hearth Tax because of their poverty. After 1660, 
wheat prices were kept artifically high because, it was argued, only fear of starvation could coerce 
the poor into working. 

Under the Restoration, the gentry and latifundists had been released from their feudal dues to the 



King, but there was no protection for small farmers and tenants. By 1700, the family farm was 
well on its way to being wiped out in England, giving rise to a landless mass of agricultural day 
laborers. The English countryside was full of de facto serfs without land. Craftsmen and artisans 
in the towns were increasingly wiped out by merchant oligarchs and bankers. Through this brutal 
primitive accumulation, England acquired its propertyless proletariat, forced to live by selling its 
labor. Usury became thoroughly respectable. This is the world described by Karl Marx, but it was 
created by Anglo -Venetian finance, and not by modern capitalism. What might be called the 
middle class of small farmers and independent producers was crushed, while Puritan initiatives in 
popular education were suppressed. English society assumed the bipolar elite-mass structure 
which is a hallmark of empires. As for oligarchism, it was estimated in the 1690?s that 
Parliamentary elections were under the effective control of about 2,000 men. 

Charles II, who had been deeply impressed by his father's death and the civil war, was tolerated 
by the oligarchy because he had learned the virtue of caution. But Charles II had not given up on 
his royal prerogatives. During the 1670?s, Charles II became the satellite and toady of Louis XIV 
of France, who paid him a subsidy which he used to circumvent Parliament. This enraged the 
Venetian Party. By now, the Venetians wanted to use England against the growing power of 
France, which had supplanted Spain at the top of their hit list. In 1678, Titus Oates alleged a new 
"popish plot" in which France, and no longer Spain, was the bogey-man. Charles II announced on 
his death-bed that he was a Roman Catholic, violating another key point of Venetian doctrine. 
That his brother and successor James II had also become a Catholic had been known and was the 
center of political battle for some time. The Whig party, the main vehicle of Venetian rule, made 
its mark at this time as the group most devoted to a Protestant succession to the English throne. 
James II was also in the pay of the Sun King. 

When the Duke of Monmouth, the illegitimate but Protestant son of Charles II, attempted to land 
and stage an uprising, he was quickly defeated. In response, James IPs lackey Judge Jeffries 
brought his Bloody Assizes court to the southwest of England, and began an orgy of thousands of 
death sentences. James II was trying to set up a standing army with Catholic officers, and put a 
Catholic admiral in charge of the Royal navy. Louis XIV's revocation around this time of the 
Edict of Nantes, which had provided toleration for Protestants, made it appear plausible to some 
that James II would now attempt to play the role of Bloody Mary. 

The Anglo -Venetians decided that they were fed up with the now-Catholic, pro-French and 
wholly useless Stuart dynasty. Representatives of some of the leading oligarchical families signed 
an invitation to the Dutch King, William of Orange, and his Queen Mary, a daughter of James II. 
John Churchill, the future Duke of Marlborough, was typical of James' former supporters who 
now went over to support William and Mary. William landed and marched on London. This is 
called by the British the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688; in reality, it consolidated the powers and 
prerogatives of the oligarchy, which were expressed in the Bill of Rights of 1689. No taxes could 
be levied, no army raised, and no laws suspended without the consent of the oligarchy in 
Parliament. Members of Parliament were guaranteed immunity for their political actions and free 
speech. Soon, ministers could not stay in office for long without the support of a majority of 
Parliament. Parliament was supreme over the monarch and the state church. At the same time, 
seats in Parliament were now bought and sold in a de facto market. The greater the graft to be 



derived from a seat, the more a seat was worth. Within a few years after the Glorious Revolution 
there was a Bank of England and a national debt. When George I ascended the throne in 1714, he 
knew he was a Doge, the primus inter pares of an oligarchy. 

The regime that took shape in England after 1688 was the most perfect copy of the Venetian 
oligarchy that was ever produced. There was a flare-up of resistance during the reign of Queen 
Anne because of the activity of the Tory Robert Harley and his ally Jonathan Swift; there was also 
the threat that the Hanoverian succession might bring Leibniz into England. Otherwise the 
Venetian Party was broadly hegemonic, and Britain was soon the dominant world power. The 
English masses had been so thoroughly crushed that little was heard from them for one and one 
half centuries, until the Chartist agitation of the 1840?s. The franchise was not substantially 
expanded until after the American Civil War, with industrial workers getting the vote in 1867 and 
farm laborers allowed to cast ballots in 1884. 

The struggles of seventeenth- century England were thus decisive in parlaying the strong Venetian 
influence which had existed before 1603 into the long-term domination by the British Venetian 
Party observable after 1714. These developments are not phenomena of English history per se. 
They can only be understood as aspects of the infiltration into England of the metastatic Venetian 
oligarchy, which in its British Imperial guise has remained the menace of mankind. 

The British Empire Bid for Undisputed World Domination, 1850-1870 

Schiller Institute Food For Peace Conference, Chicago, IL, Feb. 22-23, 1992 

[The following paper is a transcription of a tape recording at the above conference of an oral 
presentation by Mr. Tarpley.] 

I would like to attempt to illustrate the Versailles thesis in a certain amount of detail. I would say 
to people at the beginning, the best seats are emphatically here in the front part of the auditorium, 
because if you don't see these maps, it will be a little difficult to follow. So I urge you if you can, 
come up to the front. 

The Versailles thesis has been referred to several times in the course of today's proceedings, and 
it is, in short, the idea that the world system or world order which is presently collapsing around 
our ears is rooted above all in the events of the first World War between 1914 and 1918; and then 
in the Versailles Treaty of 1919, actually in the Peace of Paris of 1919. 

The thesis goes on to specify that World War I itself was the consequence of British geopolitical 
geostrategic decisions that were made in the period around 1870, in the wake of the American 
Civil War. The British, from 1870 to 1914, actively sought a general conflagration for the purpose 
of destroying civilization and for preserving the British Empire against the challenges that had 
emerged. 

Now the theme in this is constantly the British quest for the single empire. Lyndon LaRouche 
referred to it before, I believe - the idea of a single new Roman Empire, an empire that would 



encompass the entire world, which would be under the ultimate domination of what the British 
considered to be an Anglo-Saxon master race. It would be oligarchical, colonial, imperialistic, 
malthusian; [it would] condemn large areas of the world to depopulation, poverty, and so forth, 
[and would be directed to] the preservation of the British Empire. 

As we will see, the British came very close to establishing just such a single empire in the period 
between 1848 and 1863. That is the period we'll look at in some detail, because it's a period 
that's very like our own today, a period when the British - the Anglo-Americans - came close to 
establishing this kind of universal domination, the new Roman Empire. 

In the course of this, I will have to simplify some things. We can certainly clarify some of those in 
the discussion, and I will have to proceed somewhat from the point of view of the British thrust in 
these directions, and you'll see the areas that pop up. We will also see the irony of history, that if 
the British between 1850 and 1860 came close to establishing their worldwide dominion, the irony 
is that the world then blew up in their faces - especially around the events of the American Civil 
War, the Russian cooperation with Lincoln during the Civil War - to the point where, by about 
1870, the British had to fear a convergence of the United States, Russia, and a united Germany, in 
such a way that the future of the British Empire would have been put in jeopardy, [even] might 
have been terminated. 

In the course of this, as you'll see, - and this is Lyn's [Lyndon LaRouche's] tremendous merit, to 
be able to do this given the conditions that he's working under - we will develop a radically new 
view of the last 200 years of history which you will not find in any textbook. Indeed, from the 
point of view of this concept, you will see what a tissue of lies the history of the last 200 years as 
presented in Anglo-American sources actually is, particularly the official U.S. version of World 
War I and World War II, which is a complete tissue of lies. Any idea of German war guilt for 
World War I has to go out the window, and it has to yield to the idea that World War I was a 
British creation which the British schemed for the best part of a half century to bring about. 

[Display MAP OF EUROPE as redrawn at Congress of Vienna, 1815] 

The question is, where do you start some kind of a review like this? We could usefully start it at 
the time of the American Revolution. What I thought we would do, though, is to skip to the end 
of the Napoleonic Wars, simply specifying that in the period before 1815 the British were able to 
extend their colonial domination to vast areas of the world, including India and so forth, with of 
course the new nation - the United States - standing out as a barrier, as a challenge, to British 
imperialism. So let us leap to the end of the Napoleonic Wars, what many people know as the 
Europe of the Congress of Vienna, as you see here. This was Europe as the map was redrawn by 
the oligarchs gathered at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. So here's our starting point. 

Remember that in the world outside of Europe at this point, the British dominate. They rule the 
seas, their only significant challenge coming from the United States. Here's Congress of Vienna 
Europe. Notice that Poland is completely submerged, Italy is divided, the Turkish Ottoman 
Empire extends far into continental Europe, and in the middle of everything you've got this crazy 
quilt of Germany divided into dozens and dozens of petty states. Notice also that Belgium has 



been added to the Netherlands. 



This is the Europe that you associate with Metternich, Prince Metternich, the guy who was ruling 
here in Vienna at that time, the chief minister of the Hapsburg Court. This is the Europe of the 
Holy Alliance. It is a condominium in which the British are obliged to co-exist with Metternich 
and the kinds of Central European oligarchs that he represents. Metternich is a very, very ugly 
figure, needless to say. The British are forced to deal with him almost as an equal. However, what 
you see - and this I think is a characteristic of the period - [is that] after about 1820 the British 
begin to drop out of the Congress of Vienna system. They stop going to the congresses; they stop 
signing the declarations; rather, what they do is to assume a position of splendid isolation and at 
the same time foment revolutions against all of their alleged allies on the continent of Europe. And 
in particular, the names of Mazzini, Karl Marx, Bakunin, the First International Workingmen's 
Association, plus all of the French socialists - Louis Blanc, Fourier, and all these other people - 
[all these constitute] a society of British agents for the destabilization of Metternich and company 
on the continent of Europe. 

The British started a revolution here, in Serbia - they created that revolution in 1817. The British 
have been allied with Serbia for about two hundred years, and the Serbs have endured a 
monumental bloodletting as a result, as have the victims of the Serbs. The British created modern 
Greece in 1821; and the word went out from London that the British oligarchs would support 
everybody's revolutions, except of course their own. And they fomented these things, and this is 
what gave birth to the revolutions of 1848. 

I have to caveat this, as Al Haig would say, by saying 1848 is also other things. There are a lot of 
very good people active in 1848, but the general thrust of the British policy is clearly [that] the 
British were destabilizing Austria, Russia, and Prussia for balance of power purposes. 

Let me show you what happened in 1848, in case people have forgotten this. Basically every 
government in Europe was overthrown. The French July monarchy in the person of bourgeois 
King Louis Philippe of Orleans was overthrown in favor of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, a British 
agent and adventurer. Every government in Italy was overthrown; in particular, Mazzini 
succeeded in creating his Roman republic, and in forcing the pope to flee from Rome. Metternich 
himself was forced to flee from a revolution in Vienna; you had Kossuth in Hungary; every 
government in Germany was overthrown - not necessarily the monarch, but certainly the prime 
ministers; similar things in Spain, and so forth. The only country that escaped this was Russia, 
where there was no internal revolution. 

With one fell swoop, the British had succeeded in overthrowing every government on the 
continent of Europe, in particular forcing Metternich to disguise himself as an Englishman and flee 
to London. 

[Display NEXT MAP: 1848] 

Here is this extremely interesting period between the 1848 revolutions and the turning points of 
the American Civil War, and this is something you won't find in any history book. This is an 



absolutely original concept that LaRouche has developed. Let us look at the tremendous 
worldwide offensive of the British imperialists back in the 1850?s. 

First of all, free trade. Where did free trade ever come from? Free trade was introduced by the 
British in 1846 and in the following years. Before that, as you may remember, they had Corn 
Laws, which set up very high tariffs to keep the price of grain extremely elevated, but this was 
then turned around, because they could look forward to the idea of being able to loot the world, 
and therefore they favored free trade. 

The British were able to install their puppet, Napoleon III. He had studied the wars of Napoleon 
I, his ancestor, and had concluded that Napoleon's big mistake was fighting the British. So as so 
often happens in the history of French imperialism, here's a French imperialist who believes that 
the way to have a French empire is to be a junior partner to the British. That's exactly what he 
did. This is then acted out in the Crimean War, where the British and French join together to 
invade Russia, the only country that had survived those 1848 destabilizations. 

We also got, in terms of a worldwide offensive, a reorganization of British rule in India. This is 
the famous Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, which led to the end of the direct rule of the British East India 
Company out there, and the creation of a British Viceroy of India. Prime Minister Disraeli made 
Queen Victoria the Empress of India. 

In China, the Second Opium War fits precisely into this period. This is the British grabbing a 
whole series of ports and other bases on the coast of China, and it was clear at the time that they 
were about to go into China to partition the entire country. They wanted to occupy China 
militarily as they had India. 

And Kansas. How does Kansas fit it? Well, Kansas is the beginning of the American Civil War. 
Bleeding Kansas, with gangs of pro-Confederate and pro-Union, or pro-slavery and 
pro-abolitionist groups, fighting it out in continuous bloodletting. Filibustering expeditions by 
proto-Confederates into Latin America, and the creation of this Hapsburg Maximilian Empire in 
Mexico. You look at this together, [and] there's not one continent of the entire globe where the 
British are not in a tremendous offensive. The idea is that the single empire, the universal 
monarchy, is within their grasp. 

Now, pause for a second. It's very similar today. If you look at this, it looks like the British on 
paper have wrapped up the entire world. And you could say, if you look at the map, if you 
calculate, you could say, well, it really looks like the Anglo-Americans have dominated the world, 
and that the Anglo-Americans will continue to dominate the world for the next century. But let 
me just anticipate that it's not going to be so. 

[Display MAP OF CRIMEAN WAR] 

Here's the Crimean War. Here we are on the Black Sea, and what do we find here? The Ottoman 
Empire, of course; Russia up here, so who goes in? The British and the French bust through the 
Bosporus and the Dardanelles, and they actually invaded the Crimea here. This was one of the 



largest amphibious war operations, the largest up to that time to be sure. And they succeeded in 
defeating the Russian army, although what they find is that their forces were not significant 
enough to push further inside the country. 

[Display MAP OF BALACLAVA] 

This is the city of Balaclava. [Do] you remember Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade?" This 
is one that Fred Wills could quote at great length. The charge of the Light Brigade took place 
here. This is the British invasion fleet, Anglo-American invasion, and there are some very large 
Russian forts in the background, and that's what the British threw their Light Brigade against. So 
here we are in the Crimean War. 

[Display MAP OF MEXICO] 

Maximilian! Remember him? The Hapsburg heir who was placed on the throne of Mexico by a 
French army, sent by Louis Napoleon Bonaparte? There he is. The idea was to begin to 
reintroduce direct colonialism, by British or British puppet states, into Mexico, Central America, 
and Ibero-America in general, while the U.S. was so tied down by the Civil War that the Monroe 
Doctrine could not be asserted by Washington. 

[Display MAP OF INDIA] 

In India, as we saw, the Sepoy Mutiny led to a vast reorganization of British colonialism in the 
area, sending out a viceroy from London, and before too long Queen Victoria was proclaimed 
"Empress of India," with this great empire, ruling over maharajahs and other local potentates. 

[But] we have to pay special attention to the 1850?s in the United States, and Lyn has been very 
emphatic about this. If you look at the United States in the 1850?s, then you have to conclude 
that the place was a dead duck - lost. Why? 

Let's start with the leadership. Let's look at the great series of presidents: Millard Fillmore, 
starting in the 1850?s; Franklin Pierce, the ancestor of Barbara Pierce, Barbara Bush; and James 
Buchanan. This was the president under whose term the Civil War actually began to break out. 
(Someone said that this shows that one President Buchanan was enough.) What happened under 
these [men]? This is typical: Here's Jefferson Davis, wearing his uniform of major general of the 
United States Army. He was not just a major general; he was the Secretary of War under these 
administrations. 

So what you had under presidents like Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan [were] Confederate traitors 
- like Jefferson Davis - members of the British Scottish Rite Freemasons, pro to- Confederate 
slave holders, traitors, the scum of the earth; they could make great careers in the United States 
Army. And, of course, later on this was the same Jefferson Davis who became the president of the 
Confederate States of America, that despicable puppet state. 

Don't be fooled by the Confederacy. Don't be fooled by that Sir Walter Scott aura of chivalry, 



and J.E.B. Stuart wrapped up in God knows what he's palmed off as the ethos of the 
Confederacy. This was based on human slavery, this was one of the most despicable proto-fascist 
states that has ever been seen on the face of the earth. Davis was the president. 

People like Ulysses S. Grant, that you see here, could not make a career in the army. It's 
interesting to see that while Jefferson Davis was getting promoted, generals like Sherman and 
Grant were forced out of the U.S. military service. They had to go into business - into the private 
sector - to try to earn a living. 

Here's a typical Confederate. We've talked a lot about him. Judah P. Benjamin, [who] was the 
secretary of the treasury of the Confederate States of America. At the end of the Civil War, he 
fled to Britain, where he lived. This is precisely the kind of British imperialist agent that you find 
in the upper reaches of the Confederate government. He is of course an agent in particular of the 
Rothschild family of London, and this mixture of what you would have to call Zionism and 
Confederacy today is what animates an organization like the Anti-Defamation League. That's 
exactly what this is. The ADL today continues the characteristic mentality of Judah Benjamin. 

And then you look in the Union officer corps. How about this guy? He thinks he's Napoleon, or 
he's checking if he's still got his wallet. That's George McClellan, who in 1861-62 was the 
commander of all the Union armies. And here he is at Antietam. 

This is the battle where McClellan had a good chance to destroy the Confederate Army under 
Lee. But he refused to do that. McClellan refused to attack on many occasions, because he 
wanted a negotiated peace. He said, "I can sit down with Robert E. Lee and work this out, and 
Abraham Lincoln doesn't really belong in this, because he doesn't understand these things the way 
I do." This is an interchange where Lincoln is basically telling him, "Why didn't you pursue Lee? 
You could have destroyed him on the battlefield, and you refused to do it. Now the Civil War's 
going to go on for three more years." 

Here's the way this was viewed in a carton of the day. This is pro-McClellan propaganda. Here's 
Lincoln on the one side, and Jefferson Davis on the other, and here's George P. McClellan who's 
trying to reconcile them, mediating between them if you will. And of course he was the 
Democratic presidential candidate in 1864, and if it hadn't been for Sherman at Atlanta and Phil 
Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley and the naval battles off Cherbourg, France and Farragut at 
Mobile Bay, then McClellan might have won, and that would have been the end of the Union - 
because that was the idea, that the negotiated settlement would leave the Confederate States of 
America in existence as a British puppet state. 

Now let's look at the way in which this world, which seemed lost, blew up in the face of the 
British. 

A reforming czar in Russia, Alexander II. He came in the midst of the Crimean War, just as his 
country was under tremendous attack. [He] came in with a vast program of reforms, in particular 
the freeing of the serfs in 1861. Then we've got the turning point year of 1863: the Emancipation 
Proclamation, the twin Union victories of Gettysburg and Vicksburg especially, and, as we will 



see, the arrival of the Russian fleets in New York and San Francisco. 

The Seven Weeks' War. This is one that's hardly known. This was the [1866] defeat of Austria by 
Prussia, which was the immediate prelude to the complete unification of Germany [in 1871]. The 
collapse of Maximilian's Hapsburg Empire in Mexico, [and] German unification completed. And 
as we've stressed, what came out of these events, this tremendous turnaround of the 1860?s, 
when all seemed to be lost, was a convergence of the United States, Russia, and Prussia - or call 
it Germany by that time - which attracted the attention of key forces in Japan and China. If you 
go back to Japan in this period, the reforming forces in Japan divide pretty much between pro- 
American and pro -German. 

Here was a potential for a new combination in the northern hemisphere - the United States, 
Russia, Prussia, plus China and Japan - that would have been sufficient to dominate the world, 
and finish off the British Empire once and for all. Let's take a look at how this went. 

Of course the principal figure in this is Abraham Lincoln, who administered one of the most 
severe defeats that British imperialism has ever had to absorb in the last 200 years. 

This is Lincoln's ambassador. This is the original Cassius Clay, Cassius Clay of Kentucky. He was 
the Union ambassador to St. Petersburg at the time of the Civil War, and he secured really the 
only military assistance from any foreign power for Lincoln and for the Union. 

This is Admiral Lisovsky. The photographer here is Mathew Brady, and Mathew Brady, the great 
Civil War photographer, had his studio in New York City. And here's the Admiral, the 
commander of the Russian Atlantic Fleet. Did he come all the way to have his picture taken? 
Obviously not. 

The Russian fleet arrived in September and October. It sort of came in one ship after another, 
over a period of a couple of weeks. In September and October the Russian Atlantic fleet arrived 
in New York City, and they had been ordered by the Czar to place themselves under the 
command of Lincoln in the case of war between Britain and France on the one side and the Union 
on the other. Russia was going to join in that war. They had just fought the Crimean War against 
the British and the French, and they were ready to continue fighting. Similarly, another Russian 
fleet came to San Francisco, and spent the winter of 1863-64. 

Here is another photograph by Mathew Brady. These are actual sailors of the Russian Atlantic 
fleet, who came into New York City in the fall of 1863 and played a key role in the saving of the 
Union. [The photo] was a token of the fact that if, for example, Napoleon III sent an army to fight 
the United States, then he would probably have to deal with Russia on the continent of Europe. 
As Gideon Welles, the secretary of the navy for Lincoln in those days, said: "Thank God for the 
Russians." 

Here's that other one that I just mentioned. This is a war you almost never hear about in the 
United States, a war between Prussia on the one side and Austria on the other. This is the Seven 
Weeks' War. The Prussian army was capable, within a period of about 50 days, of vanquishing 



the Austro -Hungarian forces. I think what the interesting thing about this is, this took place in 
1866. What has never really been looked into is the relation of Gettysburg on the one side with 
German unification on the other. Would it have been possible for Germany to achieve unification, 
if Lincoln had not won the Civil War? I would submit to you that Gettysburg and Vicksburg are 
key turning points of world history, also in the sense that they opened the door to the unification 
of Germany. 

One interesting fact: The kingdom of Hanover, here, which is of course where the British royal 
family comes from, was an island. It had ceased to exist as a result of this war. The Prussians 
simply put an end to the existence of Hanover. I can assure you the British didn't like that, [and] 
would have done something about this if they had not been so thoroughly defeated in the U.S. 
Civil War. 

Here's unified Germany. Again, if you look at this map with the colors, you can see the crazy 
quilt that had existed - Bavaria down here, Baden Wurttemburg over here, Mecklenburg- 
Schwerin, and so forth. This was now brought together as one powerful unified national state by 
1871. So, U.S., Russia, and Prussia. 

However, the British Empire was of course very powerful at this point. Many people think, they 
tend to situate the British Empire high point back in the days of George III. Well, these are figures 
from 1909, and they will show you that in 1909 the British dominated one-quarter of the 
population of the world [within] the British Empire. One quarter of the world's population was 
subject to the British Empire, and about one-fifth of the world's land surface. There are other 
accounts that will tell you it's about 25 percent of the population, and indeed 25 percent of the 
land surface. Remember that the British Empire got even bigger after the First World War by 
absorbing German colonies, so much so that the entire coastline of the Indian Ocean was 
completely British controlled. This was then called "the British Lake." 

And there, of course, is the old Brzezinski arc of crisis, which is simply the axis of British 
colonialism around the Indian Ocean. 

What could the continental Europeans do to resist this kind of British domination? Well, this is 
the railway system on the continent of Europe at about 1900. 1 think that one interesting thing to 
us as you look at it is that it's clear there are three key points in the European railroad system: 
there's Paris, there's Berlin, and there's Vienna. That's Budapest over there - think of that as a 
kind of second center. The only thing that comes close is Milan, but then you've got the Alps 
here, with a low density of railroads there. 

So it's clear that a European infrastructure and railroad triangle, here, does comprehend the 
densest area of industrial and infrastructural development. At the same time, there were railroads 
being built out here into the Russian Empire; in particular, we have to mention here the great 
Count Sergei Witte, who grew up as an employee of the Russian imperial railway system. He 
worked first of all in the railway ministry, became transportation minister, and later finance 
minister. And what he promoted was the building of this Trans-Siberian railway, the greatest 
infrastructural project of the 19th century, greater even than Lincoln's transcontinental railroad. 



As you see, it goes all the way from St. Petersburg up here, all the way across Central Asia. The 
original form of it went across Manchuria to Harbin and then to Vladivo stock; later on, a second 
line was added up here, to avoid Chinese territory. It linked up to the Chinese railway system - 
for example from Harbin to Beijing and to these other areas here - Darien, Port Arthur, and so 
forth. 

There is also a Russian system, as you see. Just to follow this a little bit, there's a second railway 
system which is called the Transcaspian, which gets right down to the base of the Caspian Sea, 
comes right across to Iran, and - look - here's British imperialism in India, coming up against the 
Russian Empire, with just this little Afghani buffer state in between. 

So look at this tremendous ability of Witte's project to reach out and create an actual Eurasian 
railroad bloc. As was mentioned before, Witte's strategic concept was that France, Germany, and 
Russia should not fight each other. They should make an alliance against Britain in particular. 
That would have spared them all the carnage of World War I, and it would have robbed the 
British of their geopolitical strategy. The British geopolitical strategy, of course, was to dominate 
the United States, dominate Japan if they could, and then go into the so-called heartland, and play 
the forces of the heartland against each other, play France against Germany, Germany against 
Russia, and so on down the line. Witte's strategic concept would have made World War I 
impossible. 

And here's the other great railroad project. This is now the Berlin to Baghdad Railway. You only 
see the Asia Minor part of it here, the Balkan and Asia Minor parts, but suffice it to say that this 
started in Berlin, came down here through the Hapsburg dominions, across the Bosporus on 
barges, went through Anatolia, through what is today Syria, and then into Mesopotamia, Iraq, 
reached Baghdad, reached Kirkuk, Mosul, Basra, and finally Kuwait. And this was going to be 
built between about 1900 and 1915. It was never completed. This would have provided an 
alternate route to India; it would have challenged the British domination of their empire lifeline. 
This was primarily the idea of Georg von Siemens of the German industrial family, but it was 
pursued also as a goal of German foreign policy. And if you put together the two maps that I've 
just shown you, the Trans-Siberian Railway and this Berlin to Baghdad railway, you would have 
made Berlin the rail hub of the universe, with the ability to call on an entire Eurasian hinterland, 
and of course this the British were determined to avoid at all costs. 

Now some people may ask: If the British decided in 1870 or thereabouts, if Disraeli, Gladstone, 
Lord John Russell, Queen Victoria, and a few other people sat down at the table and said, "Well, 
let's have World War I," and they did that in 1870, and that's about what they did, why did it take 
so long for World War I to come about? 

I would simply point to a couple of questions of Bismarck's foreign policy. The guy who 
superintended the creation of united Germany was, of course, Bismarck. He's a mixed figure: part 
monster, part realpolitiker. Bismarck as a realpolitiker was a great realist. He knew that there 
could be no general war in Europe as long as Germany and Russia maintained good relations. 
This picture you see up here is the alliance system created by Bismarck. And you can see the 
result of it is that Germany has plenty of allies, [and] France has none. France cannot start any 



wars - [even with] these pro-British governments in Paris - and the British are forced to stay off 
the continent of Europe pretty much. And I particularly would stress the good relations between 
Berlin and St. Petersburg, between Germany and Russia, first under the so-called Alliance of the 
Three Emperors - Dreikaiserbund - and then the so-called Reinsurance Treaty. 

So from 1870 to 1890 or thereabouts, this is what Europe looked like. The bottom part shows 
what happened when Bismarck was forced out of the scene [in March, 1890 by] the lunatic 
Emperor William II (this is the guy you remember from the World War I period) when he came 
in. Kaiser Wilhelm did not understand; he rejected the importance of an alliance with Russia. This 
allowed France to make an alliance with Russia in 1894, and very soon after that the British were 
brought into this, and you have the Triple Entente of Russia, England and France, all directed 
against Germany. Germany is left with only one real ally, the Austro -Hungarian Empire, [though] 
this was not a good ally. With allies like this you don't really need enemies, and the way for 
World War I was actually clear. 

The other thing to stress about this is the colonial rivalry in Africa. Lyn has talked about the 
Fashoda incident of 1898; there it is. The British wanted to unite a strip of territory from Cairo all 
the way down to the Cape. This was the way the British wanted to put Africa together. There 
were some French imperialists who said no, we're going to start over here in Dakar, and go to 
Djibouti; and these two groups clashed in Fashoda, and the mentality that won out on the French 
side under Theophile Delcasse was the idea that if you want to have an empire, you've got to do 
it with the British, because you're not strong enough to do it against them; therefore, make a deal 
with British imperialism. That's the key to the Entente Cordiale of 1904. 

With that, everything is ready for World War I. Here you see Europe as it was in July and August 
of 1914. The Russian Empire, the Ottoman Empire here; the Austro -Hungarian Empire, and as 
you can see, a very large Germany. The British had played their Eastern Question card; the 
Eastern Question meant their desire to destabilize the Ottoman, Russian, and Austro -Hungarian 
Empires. 

The thing that we have to stress about the way the war was conducted is that the United States 
fought on the wrong side. That's one of the key turning points in which the twentieth century 
went wrong. It was wrong for France to ally with the British against Germany, but it was doubly 
wrong for the United States to go into World War I on the side of the British. The catastrophes of 
this century would have been avoided to a very large degree if, for example, the United States had 
refused to back the British, but had rather insisted on arbitrating the war - ending the war by 
forcing a just peace on all the contending parties. That would have made all the difference. That 
would have created a much better world than the one that we're confronted with today. 

And here's the fighting. You see these fighting fronts? There's a western front over here, there's a 
tremendous eastern front, an Italian front, there's a Balkan front, there's a Russian- Turkish front 
out here, and look: even out here there was a Kuwait front. Norman Schwarzkopf, where are 
you? This was done by the British. They were attacking Baghdad. 

And, of course, the reality of World War I is that this is the greatest single tragedy, the greatest 



single hecatomb of western civilization. Nine million dead. These are French troops getting out of 
their trucks. They're going to fight the battle of Verdun, where, over a period of 6 or 8 months, 
more than a million men were killed. 

It's about 9 million killed outright, 20 million wounded, and if you add in the Spanish flu of 1919 
and a few other things, you get up to the area of about 25 million to 30 million dead as a result of 
World War I. And the majority of [those were from] Germany and France, the two most 
developed countries of western Europe. 

Here is now the Europe that emerged after the peace of Paris. So this is now Versailles, we're 
now in the midst of Versailles, bringing World War I to an end. You can see the changes that 
have been made, a very large Poland up here, a rather large Czechoslovakia, a large Rumania, a 
fairly large Hungary. Notice also that Yugoslavia has been created. Probably the most typical 
territorial change of Versailles, this Peace of Paris of 1919, is the existence of Yugoslavia. You 
can also see the creation of Finland and Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, up here in the Baltics. 

The territorial system that came out of this was vastly unpopular. Nobody was really satisfied with 
all of this. It awakened desires on the part of various groups, nobody liked it. It was fought in 
particular by Ataturk in Turkey, [and] there was a mass movement in China against the idea that 
the German colonial possessions were transferred to the Japanese under this same treaty. In Italy 
there was so much discontent that it led to the rise of fascism. Similarly in Germany, and so on 
down the line. 

Here's Germany as it came out of World War I. Notice the areas that were taken away; and now, 
of course, the Oder-Neisse line over here is the border of Germany. 

I would stress in the Versailles system the way in which the Ottoman Empire was partitioned in 
1919. This was all the Ottoman Empire. Everything that you think of as being the Middle East - 
including Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia - all of these were created at 
the Peace of Paris - in particular the Treaty of Sevres. Israel took a little bit longer to create, but 
basically the mandate of Palestine under the British is what then later became Israel. 

Hungary, Austria: this empire ceased to exist. Austrians, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Italians, 
Slovenians, Croatians, and others departed this empire, and I of course have to apologize for this 
map. This is a U.S., sort of a pro-Woodrow Wilson map, because it lists "Yugoslavs" as Serbs, 
Croatians, and Slovenes, and of course that's precisely what Yugoslavia was all about. This did 
not have anything to do with the wishes of those involved. This was a reward to Serbia by the 
British and their friend, Woodrow Wilson. 

And Russia: the Russian Empire was dismembered. Here we see Finland taken off, the Baltic 
States taken off, Bessarabia, today Moldova taken off, areas in the Transcaucasus taken off. The 
Russian Empire has already been through one dismemberment in the 20th century. It's now going 
through the second dismemberment. And we must warn that unless economic dirigistic policies 
are introduced in these new states to make them viable, to make them prosperous, to make them 
stable, then as Helga was saying earlier there is every danger that those states will be re-engulfed 



by a Russian Empire within about 15 or 20 years, or even less. In this [1919] case, it took about 
15 or 20 years for the Russian Empire to make its comeback under Stalin. 

The other thing about Versailles that I would like to stress very much is the financial 
arrangements, because here we can really see the degree to which today's world is an extension of 
the Versailles system. 

Germany, under the Treaty of Versailles, was required to pay $32 billion of reparations. It was 
said that the Germans bore the war guilt, that they were responsible for World War I. Big lie! But 
the reason for the big lie was that they [therefore] had to pay $32 billion. It's hard to calculate 
that in today's terms. Those were gold dollars, those were real dollars, maybe $32 trillion is some 
idea of what that would have meant today, and because of the 5 percent interest rates, this was 
going to be paid over about 60 to 70 years. By one calculation, the Germans would have wound 
up their payments about 1990. They would have just finished paying for World War I two years 
ago. [But the amount owed] was going to go up to about $100 billion because of the accrued 
interest over the period. So let's say, $100 trillion of reparations. 

The French had borrowed $25 billion during the war, and the British and the French had 
borrowed about $10 billion from the United States. So here's the merry-go-round. Germany of 
course was not allowed to export. They were kept blockaded for a long time. They had to pay 
these reparations to the British and the French. Notice that the French had to also pay the British. 
The French and the British then paid the United States and the Wall Street bankers under the 
Dawes Plan and the Young Plan, and then refinanced the Germans so that they could keep paying. 
And that is a system of usury and destruction. It of course meant that the heart of Europe would 
be economically depressed; that Germany would be depressed economically, that there would be 
no development of the Third World as a result of European capital goods being sent out. It 
virtually guaranteed fascism and bolshevism advancing against the middle class societies; and it 
had within it the seeds of World War II. In other words, what Lord Keynes said about this - that 
it would require economic slavery in Germany - was absolutely accurate. It was a way of 
squeezing Germany until you could hear the pips squeak, as Keynes said. 

So let's just summarize what we've gone through on this Versailles system. 

What we've done here is to compare the Versailles arrangements of 1919 with the Yalta 
arrangements of 1945, which have now collapsed. The Versailles System had a League of 
Nations. Who was in the Security Council? The U.S., Britain, France, Italy, and Japan. Those 
were the Big Five. The U.S. didn't even join it, but the British wanted to run the world that way, 
as a condominium. And of course under the U.N. we've got the Security Council. 

Under Versailles, you have the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. It's still 
there. This is widely considered today to be more powerful than the IMF and the World Bank and 
the other institutions that were put up under the Yalta system after the Second World War. We've 
mentioned the $32 billion in reparations, the $10 billion in war debts, the immense internal debts 
of all these countries. After the Second World War there was the demontage of German industry, 
simply taking it out, primarily by the Russians, but above all [by] the conditionalities of the IMF as 



they have been imposed on the former colonial sector. 

Continuing this comparison, under Versailles you had a war guilt clause saying that Germany was 
responsible for World War I, and under Yalta, the same thing. Collective guilt. Every German is 
responsible for everything that Hitler did. Typical are the geographic changes that I've just 
mentioned; Yugoslavia is a very typical one. Under Yalta, it's the two Germanys, not simply cut 
down, but even divided. 

And then, look at the Middle East as one example of what this meant for the Third World. Under 
the League of Nations there were these mandates. The British got the mandate of Palestine. That 
then became Israel. The British Foreign Office with the Balfour Declaration announced that it was 
going to create the state of Israel. This was then included in the secret British-French Sykes-Picot 
accords, and finally the Treaty of Sevres, which was the treaty with the Ottoman Empire. 

What does that lead to? To your typical Yalta arrangement of endless wars of Israel against the 
Arab states. All these Middle East wars, 1948, 1956, 67, 69, 73, the Iran-Iraq War of '80, and 
finally the Gulf War of 1991 . That brings us pretty much up to the present time. 

I haven't been able, for reasons of time, to go into certain postwar events that are better known. 
A couple of things to say in conclusion. 

What is the purpose of all this? Why did the British insist on this? The British insist on a world 
system or a form of organized chaos, which is what you see here, based on an irrational principle 
of arbitrary power - Oligarchy - the idea that the British royal family, the British House of Lords, 
and the British aristocracy and oligarchy have the God-given right to rule [as] the Anglo-Saxon 
master race. And they can inflict suffering on the entire rest of the world in the name of this 
lunatic, imbecilic principle of their power. Therefore, the purpose of this entire system is to crush 
humanity. Sure, you can say its really directed against Germany to keep the Germans down, to 
keep them divided; to keep the Germans and the Russians at each other's throats; to keep the 
French and the Germans at each other's throats. It also implies that the United States is subjected 
to colonial rule, which you see. 

So all of these great nations are humiliated, each in its own way, by this Versailles System. But 
the purpose of it ultimately is to crush the entire human race, because one of the effects of this 
entire system is the poverty and economic backwardness of the developing sector today, which is 
directly due to these Versailles and Yalta arrangements. 

We also have to ask ourselves: What is the center of evil in the world? Well, for a while there was 
Hitler and the Nazis. This was certainly very evil, Mussolini and the fascists. The Bolshevik Party 
has gone out of existence - Stalin's party, Lenin's party, is really no longer there. It could be 
reconstituted, I suppose. Mao and his heirs in China are still in power, but it looks like their future 
is going to be a limited one. So ultimately you have to ask yourself: What is the problem of evil in 
the 20th century in particular, because it has turned out not to be fundamentally, in the last 
analysis, any of those, but rather, the British oligarchy. British geopolitical thinking. The idea of 
dividing the world along these lines, and creating a series of endless wars. 



We also have to recall, as we saw back in the 1850?s, that when the British seemed to be on the 
verge of taking everything, that is the moment when the intrinsic weaknesses of their system pop 
out. This is an Anglo-American system that destroys its enemies, to be sure, but it destroys its 
sponsors and its owners with an even greater certitude. It's a system that literally devours its own 
flesh - as you see today, when it looks like the Anglo-Americans are ready to take over the entire 
world, but at the same time they're collapsing internally so fast that they will not be able to 
impose any permanent world order of any type. 

And I think finally, what it means for us, is that this is a tremendous opportunity, because there is 
now a complete political and strategic vacuum, and economic vacuum, all around the world. 
There is a vacuum of ideas, a vacuum of strategy, [and] a political vacuum. Look at the 1992 
Democratic candidates for president - the five-pack, the dwarves - and you can see that that is a 
vacuum of personalities, policies, and ideas. This is now the time to advance to fill that vacuum. 

We must take advantage of the fact that the systems that have controlled the world in a certain 
manner of speaking, for the past 70 to 90 years, that these are now collapsing in front of our eyes, 
creating tremendous political opportunities. 

You cannot engage in politics today unless you have this kind of a scope - unless you go back to 
the Congress of Vienna, 1848, the British drive toward the single empire, and then that 
convergence of Lincoln, Alexander II, and united Germany that gave the British such a scare that 
they started World War I and created the Versailles System. 

Lord Palmerston's Multicultural Human Zoo 

Speaking from the vantage point of Lord Palmerston's British Empire circa 1850, Schiller 
Institute U.S. President Webster Tarpley chaired the panel on "Lord Palmerston's Multicultural 
Zoo" at the Schiller Institute's conference on Feb. 20. Tarpley served as tour guide through the 
centuries, and as the "choral" backdrop to the historical drama, introducing each of the seven 
speakers in turn and concluding the panel. What follows is Tarpley's introduction. Subtitles have 
been added. 

I am now standing in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament in the part of London called 
Westminster. It is the year of grace 1850. Around me lies Victorian London, the London of 
Dickens and Thackeray, of John Stuart Mill and Thomas Carlyle. This capital city is now the 
center of the greatest colonial empire the world has ever known, shortly to embrace between 
one-fifth and one-fourth of the total population and land area of the Earth. Although in theory 
there are still empires ruled by the French, the Spanish, the Portuguese, the Dutch, the Belgians, 
and the Danes, all of these, in this year of 1850, are but the satellites of the British Empire. Britain 
is the mistress of the seas, the empire upon which the sun never sets. It is the new Rome on the 
banks of the Thames. 

The empress is Queen Victoria, who is largely occupied with Prince Albert in her business of 
breeding new litters of Saxe- Coburg- Gotha to take over the royal houses of Europe. A quarter- 
century from now Victoria will be made empress of India to reward her for so much breeding. But 



for all of Victoria's wealth and power, Britain is not really a monarchy; it is an oligarchy on the 
Venetian model, and the most powerful leader of the British oligarchy in these times, between 
1830 and the end of the American Civil War, is Lord Palmerston. 

Henry Temple, the third Viscount Palmerston. Palmerston is the man the others - the Russells, 
Disraelis, and Gladstones - simply cannot match. Palmerston was first a Tory, then a Whig, 
always a disciple of Jeremy Bentham, and for 35 years there is scarcely a cabinet without 
Palmerston as foreign secretary or prime minister. In London they call him Lord Cupid, a Regency 
buck always on the lookout for a new mistress, perfectly at home in a menage a trois. On the 
continent they call him Lord Firebrand. The schoolboys of Vienna sing that if the devil has a son, 
that son is Lord Palmerston. "Pam" is an occultist who loves Satanism and seances. And here, 
between Big Ben and the Foreign Office, are the haunts of this nineteenth- century devil, Lord 
Palmerston, old Pam. 

A NEW ROMAN EMPIRE 

It is 1850. Lord Palmerston is engaged in a campaign to make London the undisputed center of a 
new, worldwide Roman Empire. He is attempting to conquer the world in the way that the British 
have already conquered India, reducing every other nation to the role of a puppet, client, and 
fall-guy for British imperial policy. Lord Palmerston's campaign is not a secret. He has declared it 
here in the Houses of Parliament, saying that wherever in the world a British subject goes, he can 
flaunt the laws, secure that the British fleet will support him. "Civis Romanus sum, every Briton is 
a citizen of this new Rome," thundered Lord Palmerston, and with that, the universal empire was 
proclaimed. 

During the Napoleonic Wars, the British managed to conquer most of the world outside of 
Europe, with the exception of the United States. After 1815, the French - be they restored 
Bourbons, Orleanists, or Bonapartists - are generally pliant tools of London. But in central and 
eastern Europe, there was Prince Metternich's Austrian Empire, a very strong land power. There 
was vast Imperial Russia, under the autocrat Nicholas I or the reformer Alexander II. There was 
the Kingdom of Prussia. Lord Palmerston likes to call these the "arbitrary powers." Above all, 
Palmerston hated Metternich, the embodiment and ideologue of the Congress of Vienna system. 
Metternich presided over one of the most pervasive police states in history. Men said his rule was 
shored up by a standing army of soldiers, a sitting army of bureaucrats, a kneeling army of priests, 
and a creeping army of informers. 

For Britain to rule the world, the Holy Alliance of Austria, Russia, and Prussia had to be broken 
up. There is also the matter of the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. Starting with Lord 
Byron's Greek Revolution in the 1820s, British policy has been to play the card of national 
liberation against each of these rival empires. 

The imperial theme was sounded in 1846 with the free trade policy, Britain's declaration of intent 
to loot the world in the name of the pound. Then, in January 1848, Lord Palmerston arranged an 
insurrection in Sicily, using British networks that went back to Lord Nelson. 



That started the great revolutionary year of 1848, and in the course of that year, every 
government in Europe was toppled, and every monarchy badly shaken, at least for a time. 
Metternich of Austria and King Louis Philippe of France fled to London, where they now spend 
their time playing cards. There was war in Italy, civil war in Austria, barricades in Paris, and 
tumult in Germany. The only exception to the rule was Russia, and now Lord Palmerston is 
preparing to invade Russia, with the help of his strategic catamite, Napoleon III, also known as 
Napoleon le Petit. That will start in about three years, and it will be called the Crimean War. As 
soon as the war against Russia is over, Palmerston and John Stuart Mill at the British East India 
Company will start the Great Mutiny in India, which some historians will call the Sepoy Rebellion. 
Muslim soldiers will be told that new cartridges are greased with pig fat, Hindu soldiers will be 
told the cartridges are greased with cow fat, and the result will be what you would expect. But in 
the conflagration the British will get rid of the Great Mogul and the Mogul Empire, and impose 
their direct rule in all of India. Typical John Stuart Mill. He, of course, is the author of "On 
Liberty." 

The British would like to give China the same treatment they are giving India. Since 1842, 
Palmerston and the East India Company have been waging Opium Wars against the Chinese 
Empire, partly to get them to open their ports to opium from India, and also as a way to conquer 
China. Already the British have Hong Kong and the other treaty ports. By 1860, the British will 
be in Beijing, looting and burning the summer palace of the emperor. 

Shortly after that, the British will back Napoleon in his project of putting a Hapsburg archduke on 
the throne of an ephemeral Mexican Empire - the Maximilian Project. These projects will be 
closely coordinated with Palmerston's plans to eliminate the only two nations still able to oppose 
him - the Russia of Alexander II and the United States of Abraham Lincoln. Lord Palmerston will 
be the evil demiurge of the American Civil War, the mastermind of secession, far more important 
for the Confederacy than Jefferson Davis or Robert E. Lee. And in the midst of that war, 
Palmerston will detonate a rebellion in Poland against Russian rule, not for the sake of Poland, but 
for the sake of starting a general European war against Russia. 

But when the Russian fleets sail into New York and San Francisco, when Lee's wave breaks at 
Gettysburg, when the Stars and Bars are lowered over Vicksburg, the British Empire will be 
stopped - just short of its goal. Just short - and yet, British hegemony will still be great enough to 
launch the two world wars of the twentieth century, and the third conflagration that will start in 
1991. And as we look forward for a century and a half from 1850, British geopolitics, despite the 
challenges, despite the defeats, despite the putrefaction of Britain itself, will remain the dominant 
factor in world affairs. 

PALMERSTON'S THREE STOOGES 

How do the British do it? How can a clique of depraved aristocrats on this tight little island bid to 
rule the entire world? Don't believe the stories about the workshop of the world; there are some 
factories here, but Britain lives by looting the colonies. The fleet is formidable, but also overrated, 
and very vulnerable to serious challenges. The army is third-rate. But the British have learned 
from the Venetians that the greatest force in history is the force of ideas, and that if you can 



control culture, you can control the way people think, and then statesmen and fleets and armies 
will bend to your will. 

Take our friend Lord Palmerston. Pam has the Foreign Office, the Home Office, and Whitehall, 
but when he needed to start the 1848 revolutions, or when the time will come for the American 
Civil War, he turns to a troika of agents. They are Lord Palmerston' s Three Stooges. But instead 
of Moe, Larry, and Curly, these Three Stooges are named Giuseppe Mazzini, Louis Napoleon 
Bonaparte, and David Urquhart. These Three Stooges - far more than the Union Jack, Victoria, 
the bulldog breed, the thin gray line of heroes, and the fleet - are the heart of what is called the 
British Empire. 

We will get to know Lord Palmerston's Three Stooges better. But first, one thing must be 
understood. Moe, Larry, and Curly often had to work together on this or that project. But their 
relations were never exactly placid. [Slapstick episode from a "The Three Stooges" movie is 
shown to the audience.] You understand: Their stock in trade was infantile violence. So do not be 
surprised if we find Palmerston's Three Stooges lashing out with slanders, knives, and bombs 
against each other, and even against their august master, Lord Palmerston himself. 

Under Lord Palmerston, England supports all revolutions - except her own - and the leading 
revolutionary in Her Majesty's Secret Service is Giuseppe Mazzini, our first Stooge. 

MAZZINI'S TERRORIST REVOLUTION 

Mazzini has concocted a very effective terrorist belief structure. Mazzini is a Genoese admirer of 
the diabolical Venetian friar Paolo Sarpi. Mazzini's father was a physician to Queen Victoria's 
father. For a while Mazzini worked for the Carbonari, one of Napoleon's Freemasonic fronts. 
Then, in 1831, Mazzini founded his Young Italy secret society. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, 
today's President of France, sent him articles for his magazine. Mazzini's cry is "God and the 
People" [Dio e Popolo], which means that the people are the new God. Populism becomes an 
ersatz religion. Mazzini teaches that Christianity developed the human individual, but that the era 
of Christianity, of freedom, of human rights, is now over. From now on, the protagonists of 
history are not individuals any more, but peoples, understood as racial nationalities. Mazzini is 
adamant that there are no inalienable human rights. There is only Duty, the duty of thought and 
action to serve the destiny of the racial collectivities. "Liberty," says Mazzini, "is not the negation 
of all authority; it is the negation of every authority that fails to represent the Collective Aim of 
the Nation." There is no individual human soul, only a collective soul. According to Mazzini, the 
Catholic Church, the papacy, and every other institution which attempts to bring God to man 
must be abolished. Every national grouping that can be identified must be given independence and 
self- determination in a centralized dictatorship. In the coming century, Mussolini and the Italian 
Fascists will repeat many of Mazzini's ideas verbatim. 

Mazzini thinks that each modern nation has a "mission": The British would take care of Industry 
and Colonies; the Poles, leadership of the Slavic world; the Russians, the civilizing of Asia. The 
French get Action, the Germans get Thought, and so forth. For some strange reason, there is no 
mission for Ireland, so Mazzini does not support the independence of Ireland. There is only one 



monarchy which Mazzini supports, because he says it has deep roots among the people: You 
guessed it, Queen Victoria. 

Mazzini preaches an Italian revolution for the Third Rome: After the Rome of the Caesars and the 
Rome of the Popes comes the Rome of the People. For this, the pope must be driven out. Mazzini 
has tried to put this into practice just last year. In November 1848, armed Young Italy gangs 
forced Pope Pius IX to flee from Rome to Naples. From March to June of 1849, Mazzini ruled 
the Papal States as one of three dictators, all Grand Orient Freemasons. During that time, death 
squads operated in Rome, Ancona, and other cities. Some churches were sacked, and many 
confessionals were burned. For Easter 1849, Mazzini staged a monstrous mock Eucharist in the 
Vatican he called the Novum Pascha, featuring himself, God, and the People. During this time he 
was planning to set up his own Italian national church on the Anglican model. 

The defense of Rome was organized by Giuseppe Garibaldi, who had joined Mazzini's Young 
Italy in the early 1830s. But a French army sent by fellow Stooge Louis Napoleon drove out 
Mazzini, Garibaldi, and their supporters. Lord Palmerston said that Mazzini's regime in Rome 
was "far better than any the Romans have had for centuries." 

Right now Mazzini is here in London, enjoying the support of Lord Ashley, the Earl of 
Shaftesbury, a Protestant fanatic who also happens to be Lord Palmerston' s son-in-law. Mazzini's 
direct access to the British government payroll comes through James Stansfeld, a junior Lord of 
the Admiralty and a very high official of British intelligence. Last year, Stansfeld provided the 
money for Mazzini's Roman Republic. Stansfeld's father-in-law, William Henry Ashurst, is 
another of Mazzini's patrons, as is John Bowring of the Foreign Office, the man who will provoke 
the second Opium War against China. Bowring is Jeremy Bentham's literary executor. John 
Stuart Mill of India House is another of Mazzini's friends. Mazzini is close to the protofascist 
writer Thomas Carlyle, and has been having an affair with Carlyle's wife. 

One of Metternich's henchmen has said that Palmerston's policy is to make Italy turbulent, which 
is bad for Austria, without making her powerful, which would harm England. Mazzini's role in 
Italy has been that of a marplot, a wrecker, a terrorist, an assassin. His specialty is sending his 
brainwashed dupes to their deaths in terrorist attacks. He hides out and always succeeds in saving 
himself. Mazzini travels readily on the continent using false passports, posing as an American, an 
Englishman, a rabbi. 

In the thirties and forties, Mazzini was targeting Piedmont in the north, and the Kingdom of the 
Two Sicilies in the south. In 1848, he rushed to Milan as soon as the Austrians had been driven 
out and tried to start trouble. One of Mazzini's agents, General Ramorino, let the Austrian 
commander Radetzky outflank the Piedmontese and win the battle of Novara. Ramorino was 
executed for treason, but Piedmont had lost the first war for Italian liberation. The king abdicated, 
and Mazzini tried to break up Piedmont with a revolt in Genoa. Three years from now, Mazzini 
will stage an abortive revolt against the Austrians in Milan, mainly to stop Russia from allying 
with Austria in the Crimean War. A few years after that Mazzini will try another insurrection in 
Genova, still trying to break up Piedmont. In 1860, he will encourage Garibaldi to sail to Sicily, 
and then try to provoke a civil war between Garibaldi's dictatorship in the south and Cavour's 



Piedmontese government in the north. In 1860, he will be thrown out of Naples as a provocateur. 
By that time, Mazzini will be a hated and reviled figure, but British propaganda and British 
support will keep him going. 

Mazzini is also an assassination bureau. In 1848, there was a chance that Pius IX's very capable 
reforming minister Pellegrino Rossi could unify Italy and solve the Roman Question in a 
constructive way, through an Italian confederation, chaired by the pope, arranged with Gioberti, 
Cavour, and other Piedmontese. Mazzini's agents, members of Young Italy, stabbed Pellegrino 
Rossi to death. The killer was in touch with Lord Minto, Palmerston's special envoy for Italy. 

Stooge violence between Mazzini and Napoleon III is always intense, especially after Napoleon's 
army finished off Mazzini's Roman Republic. In 1855, a Mazzini agent named Giovanni Pianori 
will attempt to kill Napoleon III, and a French court will convict Mazzini. Have Napoleon's 
forces outshone the bungling British in the Crimea? Are the British nervous about Napoleon's 
new ironclad battleship, when they have none? Attempts to kill Napoleon are financed by the 
Tibaldi Fund, run by Mazzini and set up by Sir James Stansfeld of the Admiralty. 

Later, in February 1858, there will be an attempt to blow up Napoleon by one of Mazzini's 
closest and best known lieutenants from the Roman Republic, Felice Orsini. Napoleon will get the 
message that it is time to get busy and start a war against Austria in 1859. 

At other times, Mazzini tried to kill King Carlo Alberto of Piedmont. Mazzini's Young Italy is 
always the party of the dagger, of the stiletto. "In the hands of Judith, the sword which cut short 
the life of Holo femes was holy; holy was the dagger which Harmodius crowned with roses; holy 
was the dagger of Brutus; holy the poniard of the Sicilian who began the Vespers; holy the arrow 
of Tell." Vintage Mazzini. London's future ability to assassinate men like Walter Rathenau, 
Jurgen Ponto, Aldo Moro, Alfred Herrhausen, Detlev Rohwedder, stretches back in unbroken 
continuity to the Mazzini networks of today. 

Mazzini is actually doing everything he can to prevent Italian unity. When unity comes, 20 years 
from now, it will come in the form of a highly centralized state dominated by Grand Orient 
Freemasons. For 30 years the prime ministers will be Mazzini's agents, like DePretis and Crispi. 
Because of the violent liquidation of the Papal States, the Catholics will refuse to take part in 
politics. Italy will remain weak, poor, and divided. After Mussolini, the Italian Republican Party 
will identify with Mazzini, and Ugo LaMalfa and his friends will continue Mazzini's efforts to 
make sure that Italy is weak and divided, bringing down one government after another, and 
ruining the economy. 

THE ETHNIC THEME PARKS OF MAZZINI'S ZOO 

Mazzini's work for the British extends far beyond Italy. Like the Foreign Office and the Admiralty 
which he serves, Mazzini encompasses the world. The Mazzini networks offer us a fascinating 
array of movements and personalities. There are agents and dupes, professional killers, fellow 
travelers, and criminal energy types. Mazzini's court of miracles was a public scandal. Leopold of 
Saxe- Coburg- Gotha, now the king of Belgium, has been complaining to his niece Queen 



Victoria that in London there is maintained "a sort of menagerie of Kossuths, Mazzinis, 
Legranges, Ledru- Rollins, etc. ... to let loose occasionally on the continent to render its quiet and 
prosperity impossible." 

Indeed. On Feb. 21, 1854, this crew will come together at the home of the American consul, 
George Sanders: Mazzini, Felice Orsini, Garibaldi, Louis Kossuth, Arnold Ruge, Ledru-Rollin, 
Stanley Worcell, Aleksandr Herzen, and U.S. traitor and future President James Buchanan. There 
will also be a Peabody from the counting house. 

We can think of Mazzini as the zookeeper of a universal human zoo. Mazzini's human zoo is 
divided into theme parks or pavilions, one for each ethnic group. In a normal zoo there is an 
elephant house, a monkey house, an alligator pond, and the like. In Mazzini's human zoo there is 
an Italian house, a Russian house, a Hungarian house, a Polish house, an American house. Let us 
walk through the various theme parks in the zoo and identify some of the specimens. 

Young Italy, as we have seen, was founded in 1831, attracting the young sailor Giuseppe 
Garibaldi and Louis Napoleon. Shortly thereafter there followed Young Poland, whose leaders 
included the revolutionaries Lelewel and Worcell. Then came Young Germany, featuring Arnold 
Ruge, who had published some material by an obscure German "red republican" named Karl 
Marx. This is the Young Germany satirized by Heinrich Heine. In 1834, Mazzini founded "Young 
Europe," with Italian, Swiss, German, and Polish components. Young Europe was billed as the 
Holy Alliance of the Peoples, opposed to Metternich's Holy Alliance of despots. By 1835, there 
was also a Young Switzerland. In that same year Mazzini launched Young France. The guiding 
light here was Ledru-Rollin, who later became the interior minister in Lamartine's short-lived 
Second French Republic of 1848. There was also Young Corsica, which was the Mafia. 

By the end of this century we will have a Young Argentina (founded by Garibaldi), Young 
Bosnia, Young India, Young Russia, Young Armenia, Young Egypt, the Young Czechs, plus 
similar groupings in Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Greece. Mazzini is especially interested in 
creating a south Slavic federation dominated by Belgrade, and for that reason, he has a Serbian 
organization. That will have to wait for Mazzini's student Woodrow Wilson and the Versailles 
peace conference of 1919. Right now, a Masonic group in the United States is gearing up to 
support the pro-slavery doughface Franklin Pierce for President in 1852; they are the radical wing 
of the Democratic Party, and they call themselves Young America. In the future there will be the 
Young Turks. And yes, there is also a Palmerston- Mazzini group for Jews, sometimes called 
Young Israel, and sometimes called B'nai B'rith. 

For Mazzini, a nationality means a race, a fixed array of behavior like a breed of dog or a species 
of animal. He is not thinking of a national community united by a literate language and a classical 
culture to which any person can become assimilated through a political choice. For Mazzini, race 
is unchangeable, and race is destiny. It is a matter of blood and soil. Cats fight dogs, French fight 
Germans, Germans fight Poles, and so on through all eternity. These hatreds are the main datum 
of sensory perception. 

Each of Mazzini's organizations demands immediate national liberation for its own ethnic group 



on the basis of aggressive chauvinism and expansionism. Mazzini's warhorse is the Territorial 
Imperative. Each is obsessed with borders and territory, and each finds a way to oppose and 
sabotage dirigist economic development. Each one is eager to submerge and repress other 
national groupings in pursuit of its own mystical destiny. This is Mazzini's racist gospel of 
universal ethnic cleansing. 

We have seen some Italian cages; next comes the Hungarian theme park in the zoo. Our principal 
specimen here is Louis Kossuth, a leader of the Hungarian revolution of 1848- 49. Kossuth was 
for free trade. He wanted equal status for Hungarians in the Austrian Empire - equal with the 
Austrians. But within the Hungarian part of the Hapsburg Empire there were many other national 
groups - Poles, Ukrainians, Germans, Serbs, Romanians, Croatians, and others. Would they 
receive political and linguistic autonomy? Kossuth's answer was to ban all official use of the 
Slavic and Romanian languages in favor of Hungarian. Kossuth was therefore on course for a 
bloody collision with the Illyrian movement for Greater Croatia, and with the military forces of 
the Croatian leader Jellacich. There was also conflict with the Serbs. Mazzini had promised the 
same territories to Hungary, to the Illyrian Croatians, and to his Serbian south Slav entity. Then 
there was the question of Transylvania, claimed by the Hungarians but also by the Young 
Romania of Dimitirie Golescu, another Mazzini agent. Young Romania's program was to restore 
the Kingdom of Dacia as it had existed before the Roman Emperor Trajan. So Young Hungary 
and Young Romania were pre-programmed to fight to the death over Transylvania, which they 
did, last year. Because of the ceaseless strife of Hungarians and Croatians, Hungarians and 
Serbians, Hungarians and Romanians, it proved possible for the Hapsburgs to save their police 
state with the help of a Russian army. 

The ethnic theme houses of the zoo thus sally forth to fight, not only Hapsburgs and Romanovs, 
but most of all, each other. We will find the same thing in viewing the Polish and Russian 
pavilions. 

The Young Poland of Lelewel and Worcell demands the re-creation of the Polish state and 
rollback of the 1772-95 partitions of Poland. But they go much further, laying claim to Poland in 
its old Jagiellonian borders, stretching from the shores of the Baltic to the shores of the Black 
Sea. This includes an explicit denial that any Ukrainian nation exists. In the orbit of Young Poland 
is the poet Adam Mickiewicz, a close friend of Mazzini's who was with him last year during the 
Roman Republic. Mickiewicz argues that Poland is special because it has suffered more than any 
other nation; Poland is "the Christ among nations." Mickiewicz dreams of uniting all the west and 
south Slavs against the "tyrant of the north," the "barbarians of the north." By this he means 
Russia, the main target. Young Poland's program also foreshadows the obvious conflict with 
Young Germany over Silesia. 

Young Russia means the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin and the aristocratic ideologue Aleksandr 
Herzen. Herzen is an agent of Baron James Rothschild of Paris. Right after the Crimean War, 
Herzen will start publishing "The Polar Star" and "The Bell," both leak sheets for British secret 
intelligence that will build up their readership by divulging Russian state secrets. Herzen's obvious 
target is Czar Alexander II, the ally of Lincoln. Herzen prints the ravings of Bakunin, who 
preaches pan-Slavism, meaning that Russia will take over all the other Slavic nations. "Out of an 



ocean of blood and fire there will rise in Moscow high in the sky the star of the revolution to 
become the guide of liberated mankind." Vintage Bakunin. If Mazzini relies on the stiletto, for 
Bakunin it is "the peasant's axe" that will bring down the "German" regime in St. Petersburg. 

Herzen is interested in sabotaging Alexander II and his policy of real, anti-British reform in 
Russia. To block real industrial capitalist development, he preaches reliance on the aboriginal 
Slavic village, the mir, with "communal ownership of the land" plus the ancient Slavic workshop, 
the artel. The mir will never build the Trans-Siberian railway. Herzen sees Russia as the "center of 
crystallization" for the entire Slavic world. Herzen, although he is usually called a "westernizer," 
is totally hostile to western civilization. He writes of the need for a "new Attila," perhaps Russian, 
perhaps American, perhaps both, who will be able to tear down the old Europe. In the moment 
when the British will seem so close to winning everything, Herzen will support Palmerston's 
Polish insurrection of 1863, and will lose most of his readers. Once the American Civil War is 
over, the British will have little use for Herzen. By then, London will be betting on the nihilist 
terrorists of the Narodnaya Volya (People's Will), who will finally kill Alexander II, plus the 
Russian legal Marxists, all British agents. But already today we can see the conflicts ahead 
between Young Poland and Young Russia. In the conflicts among Mazzini's national chauvinist 
operations, we can see the roots of the slaughter of World War I. 

Now, let us view the cages in the American theme park in Mazzini's human zoo. This is Young 
America. The name was popularized in 1845 by Edwin DeLeon, the son of a Scottish Rite, Jewish 
slave-trading family of Charleston, South Carolina. Edwin DeLeon will later be one of the leaders 
of the Confederate espionage organization in Europe. The leader of Young America is George N. 
Sanders, the future editor of the "Democratic Review." Young America's view of Manifest 
Destiny is a slave empire in Mexico and the Caribbean. In the 1852 election, Young America will 
back the dark horse doughface Democrat, Franklin Pierce, against the patriot Winfield Scott. 
Scott's Whig Party will be destroyed. Young America operatives will receive important posts in 
London, Madrid, Turin, and other European capitals. Here they will support Mazzini and his 
gang. 

Mazzini's American contacts are either proto- Confederates or strict abolitionists, such as William 
Lloyd Garrison. During the American Civil War, Mazzini will favor both the abolition of slavery 
and the destruction of the Union through secessionism - the London line. This subversion will be 
showcased during the famous tour of Kossuth in the United States, next year and the year after. 
Kossuth will be accompanied by Mazzini's moneybags, the Tuscan Freemason Adriano Lemmi. 
On the eve of the Crimean War, with Palmerston doing everything to isolate Russia, Kossuth's 
line will be that the "tree of evil and despotism" in Europe "is Russia." Kossuth will try to blame 
even the problems of Italy on Russia. Despite Kossuth's efforts, the United States will emerge as 
the only power friendly to Russia during the Crimean conflict. Kossuth will call for the United 
States to join with England and France in war against Russia - Lord Palmerston's dream scenario. 

Kossuth will refuse to call for the abolition of slavery. Kossuth will get on well with the 
slaveholders, since he will also be attempting to mediate a U.S. seizure of Cuba, which meshes 
perfectly with the secessionist program. 



Mazzini is the zookeeper for all of these theme parks. But there are other zookeepers, and still 
more theme parks in the human, multicultural zoo. The custodians are Palmerston's two other 
Stooges, David Urquhart and Napoleon III. 

THE SECOND STOOGE: DAVID URQUHART 

There is also a theme park for the English lower orders. The keeper here is the strange and 
eccentric Scot, David Urquhart, the most aristocratic of Palmerston's Stooges. Urquhart was 
chosen for his work directly by Jeremy Bentham, who lavishly praised "our David" in his letters. 
Urquhart took part in Lord Byron's Greek revolution, but then found he liked Turks better after 
all. He secured a post at the British Embassy in Constantinople and "went native," becoming an 
Ottoman pasha in his lifestyle. Urquhart's positive contribution to civilization was his 
popularization of the Turkish bath. He also kept a harem for some time. Urquhart also thought 
that late Ottoman feudalism was a model of what civilization ought to be. In Turkey, Urquhart 
became convinced that all the evil in the world had a single root: Russia, the machinations of the 
court of St. Petersburg. A very convenient view for Palmerston's Britain, which was always on 
the verge of war with Russia. For Urquhart, the unification of Italy is a Russian plot. He once met 
Mazzini, and concluded after ten minutes that Mazzini was a Russian agent! The usual Stooge on 
Stooge violence again! For this Russophobe, the problem of Great Britain is that Palmerston is a 
Russian agent, having been recruited by one of his many mistresses, the Russian Countess Lieven. 
During the years of Chartist agitation, Urquhart bought up working class leaders and drilled them 
in the litany that all of the problems of the English working man came from Russia via Lord 
Palmerston. To these workers Urquhart teaches something he calls dialectics. Urquhart will be a 
member of Parliament and he controls a weekly paper, "The Free Press." 

Palmerston understands that his subversive methods will always generate opposition from the 
Tory gentry and the straight-laced crowd. So he has taken the precaution of institutionalizing that 
opposition under his own control, with a raving megalomaniac leader to discredit it. Urquhart's 
demonization of Russia foreshadows something that will be called McCarthyism a century from 
now. Urquhart's remedy is to go back to the simplicity of character of Merrie England, in the 
sense of retrogression to bucolic medieval myth. "The people of England were better clothed and 
fed when there was no commerce and when there were no factories." That is vintage Urquhart. 

Does this talk of pre-capitalist economic formations strike a familiar chord? Do you smell a big, 
fat commie rat? 

How interesting that Urquhart should be the controller of British agent Karl Marx, who earns his 
keep as a writer for Urquhart's paper. David Urquhart is the founder of modern communism! It is 
Urquhart who will prescribe the plan for "Das Kapital." Marx is a professed admirer of Urquhart 
- acknowledging his influence more than that of any other living person. Marx will even compose 
a "Life of Lord Palmerston," based on Urquhart's wild obsession that Pam is a Russian agent of 
influence. This says enough about Marx's acumen as a political analyst. Marx and Urquhart agree 
that there is no real absolute profit in capitalism, and that technological progress causes a falling 
rate of profit. 



Another of Urquhart's operatives is Lothar Bucher, a confidant of the German labor leader 
Lassalle, and later of the Iron Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck himself. After Gettysburg, Urquhart 
will move to France, and open a theme park for right-wing Catholics; he will meet Pius IX and 
will join members of Cardinal Newman's Oxford Movement at the First Vatican Council in 1870. 

THE THIRD STOOGE: NAPOLEON III 

Our third Stooge is the current President and soon-to-be emperor of France, Napoleon III, 
"Napoleon le Petit." As we have seen, he started off as a Carbonaro and terrorist in contact with 
Mazzini. In 1836, Napoleon tried to parlay his famous name into a successful putsch; he failed and 
was exiled to America. Then Napoleon was given a private study at the new British Museum 
reading room and frequented Lord Palmerston. He began work on his book, "Les Idees 
Napoleoniques." His main idea was that the original Napoleon was not wrong to be an imperialist, 
but only erred in trying to expand his empire at the expense of Great Britain. There is plenty of 
room for a French Empire as a junior partner to the British. The preferred form of government 
would be democratic Caesarism, with frequent plebiscites. 

In 1848 Napoleon was working for the British as a special constable - a riot cop - to put down an 
expected Chartist revolution; he was then shipped to Paris. There Napoleon III used his name to 
become President, and then organized a coup d'etat that made him emperor. Palmerston quickly 
endorsed the coup, causing hysteria on the part of the Victoria and Albert palace clique. 
Palmerston was forced out, but he was soon back, stronger than ever. 

After hundreds of years of warfare, France at last had been broken, placed under a more or less 
dependable British puppet regime. The "western powers," the "Anglo-French," were born. 
Napoleon III gave Palmerston one indispensable ingredient for his imperial strategy: a powerful 
land army. Soon an open Anglo-French entente was in full swing. When Victoria came to Paris it 
was the first such visit by an English sovereign since Henry VI had been crowned King of France 
in Notre Dame in 1431. When Napoleon joined Palmerston in attacking Russia in the Crimea, it 
was the first war in 400 years to see France and England on the same side. 

The French pavilion of the zoo is being redecorated with a new version of British empiricism: This 
is positivism, the miserable outlook of Auguste Comte and Ernest Renan. This will lead to the 
French structuralists, ethnologists, and even deconstructionists of the late twentieth century. 

Napoleon III is Palmerston's strategic catamite, usually with as much will of his own as an 
inflatable sex doll. Think of him as a blow-up British agent. After the Crimea, Palmerston will 
need a land war against Austria in northern Italy. Napoleon, egged on by Camillo Benso di 
Cavour who knows how to play the interstices, will oblige with the war of 1859 and the great 
Battle of Solferino. When the time will come for Maximilian's Mexican adventure, Napoleon will 
be eager to send a fleet and an army. During the American Civil War, Napoleon's 
pro-Confederate stance will be even more aggressive than Palmerston's own. In 1870, Bismarck 
will defeat Napoleon and send him into exile in England. Here Napoleon will plan a comeback 
after the Paris Commune, but he will need to be seen on horseback, and he has a bladder ailment. 
The bladder operation designed to make him a man on horseback once again will instead kill him. 



Napoleon III calls himself a socialist and will style the latter phase of his regime "the liberal 
empire." That means all of France as a theme park in the British zoo. In 1860 Napoleon will sign a 
free trade treaty with the British. Along the way, he will pick up a junior partner colonial empire 
in Senegal and in Indo-China in 1862, something that will set the stage for the Vietnam War a 
century later. Under Napoleon, France will build the Suez Canal, only to have it fall under the 
control of the British. Napoleon III will furnish the prototype for the fascist dictators of the 
twentieth century. After his defeat in the Franco- Prussian war, he will bequeath to France a party 
of proto-fascist colonialists and revanchists beating the drum for Alsace- Lorraine, which 
Napoleon will lose to Bismarck. These revanchists will turn up again in Vichy, the Fourth 
Republic, and the French Socialist Party of today. 

And so it will come to pass that Lord Palmerston will attempt to rule the world through the 
agency of a triumvirate of Stooges, each one the warden of some pavilions of a human zoo. The 
reason why must now be confronted. 

THE IDEOLOGY OF BRITISH IMPERIALISM 

The British Empire exists in the mind of its victims. This is the empire of senses, of sense 
certainty, the empire of empiricism. It is the empire of British philosophical radicalism, of 
utilitarianism, of hedonistic calculus, existentialism, and pragmatism. 

Why are the British liberal imperialists called the Venetian Party? Well, for one thing, they call 
themselves the Venetian Party. The future prime minister Benjamin Disraeli will write in his novel 
"Conningsby" that the Whig aristocrats of 1688 wanted "to establish in England a high 
aristocratic republic on the model of [Venice], making the kings into doges, and with a 'Venetian 
constitution.'" 

During the years after the Council of Florence in 1439, the Venetian enemies of Nicolaus of Cusa 
plotted to wage war on the Italian High Renaissance and Cusa's ecumenical project. To combat 
Cusa's Renaissance Platonism, the Venetians of the Rialto and Padua turned to a new-look 
Aristotelianism, featuring Aristotle's characteristic outlook shorn of its medieval- scholastic and 
Averroist outgrowths. 

This was expressed in the work of Pietro Pomponazzi, and in that of Pomponazzi's pupil, 
Gasparo Contarini. During the War of the League of Cambrai of 1509-17, an alliance of virtually 
every power in Europe threatened to wipe out the Venetian oligarchy. The Venetians knew that 
France or Spain could crush them like so many flies. The Venetians responded by launching the 
Protestant Reformation with three proto-Stooges - Luther, Calvin, and Henry VIII. At the same 
time, Contarini and his Jesuits made Aristotle a central component of the Catholic Counter- 
Reformation and the Council of Trent, and put Dante and Piccolomini on the Index of Prohibited 
Books. The result was a century and a half of wars of religion, and a "little dark age," culminating 
in the Great Crisis of the seventeenth century. 

Venice was a cancer consciously planning its own metastasis. From their lagoon, the Venetians 
chose a swamp and an island facing the North Atlantic - Holland and the British Isles. Here the 



hegemonic Giovani party would relocate their family fortunes, their fondi, and their characteristic 
epistemology. France was also colonized, but the main bets were placed further north. First, 
Contarini's relative and neighbor Francesco Zorzi was sent to serve as sex adviser to Henry VIII, 
whose raging libido would be the key to Venetian hopes. Zorzi brought Rosicrucian mysticism 
and Freemasonry to a land that Venetian bankers had been looting for centuries. The Venetian 
Party in England grew under the early Stuarts as Francis Bacon and his wife Thomas Hobbes 
imported the neo- Aristotelianism of Fra Paolo Sarpi, the great Venetian gamemaster of the early 
1600s, the architect of the Thirty Years' War. 

When James I and Charles I disappointed the Venetians in that Thirty Years' War, Cromwell, 
Milton, and a menagerie of sectarians were brought to power in an all-Protestant civil war and 
Commonwealth. This was the time of the Irish genocide and the foundation of the overseas 
empire in Jamaica. After the depravity of the Restoration, the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688 gave 
birth to the most perfect imitation of the Venetian oligarchical system ever created. The great 
Whig and Tory aristocrats set as their goal a new, world- encompassing Roman Empire with its 
center in London. After the defeat of Leibniz's attempt to save England, Great Britain set off on 
the path of empire with its new Hanoverian Guelph dynasty. 

The War of the Spanish Succession in 1702-13 was the first war fought on a world scale and the 
last gasp for rivals Spain and Holland. The Peace of Utrecht left the British supreme on the 
oceans. Louis XIV and Colbert were defeated by divide- and- conquer Venetian geopolitics, as 
British cash was used to hire states like Brandenburg and Savoy to fight the French. By winning 
the coveted asiento, the monopoly on slave commerce with Spanish America, the British became 
the biggest slave merchants in the world. The wealth of Bristol and Liverpool would be built on 
slaves. 

After several decades of Walpole and the Hell-Fire Clubs, there came the great war of the 
mid-eighteenth century, the Austrian Succession followed by the Seven Years' War. This was the 
end of France as a naval power and worldwide rival for the British. William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, 
subsidized Frederick the Great of Prussia to win an empire on the plains of Germany. The British 
took Ft. Louisburg and then seized Quebec City, driving the French out of Canada. The British 
became the paramount power in India. The British oligarchs of the day, like their successors after 
1989, were convinced that they could run wild, violating the laws of nature without penalty, for 
nothing could now stand against them. But, in loading the American colonies with their 
prohibitions of settlement and manufacture, their Quebec Act, Stamp Acts, Townsend Acts, and 
Intolerable Acts, they set the stage for the American Revolution. 

In these years William Petty, Earl of Shelburne and Marquis of Lansdowne, gathered a stable of 
ideologues and operatives, his stooges. These were Jeremy Bentham, Adam Smith, Edward 
Gibbon. These were the founders of British philosophical radicalism, the most primitive form of 
Aristotle yet devised, and its Siamese twin, free trade. Shelburne was defeated by the superior 
ability of Hamilton, Franklin, and Washington, but he did succeed in destabilizing and nearly 
destroying France. The reign of terror in the French Revolution was the work of agents and dupes 
of Shelburne among the Jacobins, enrages, and sans-culottes. 



By now British policy was in the hands of Shelburne's student and protege, William Pitt the 
Younger. After letting the Jacobin horrors of Bentham's agents brew up for three years, Pitt was 
able to unite the continental powers against France in the first, second, and third coalitions. Using 
the armies raised by Lazare Carnot, Napoleon shattered each of these coalitions. Napoleon's final 
defeat was the work of Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and the Prussian reformers, but the beneficiaries 
were the British. 

At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the British were clearly the dominant force, but they were still 
obliged to make deals with Metternich, Russia, and Prussia. But under the regimes of Castlereagh 
and Canning, the oligarchical stupidity, greed, and incompetence of Metternich and Co. made 
possible the revolts and revolutions of 1820, 1825, and 1830. By 1830, Lord Palmerston was 
ready to take control of the Foreign Office and begin his direct march to undisputed world 
domination. Metternich was still sitting on the lid of the boiling European cauldron, but Lord 
Palmerston and his Three Stooges were stoking the flames underneath. 

There was a time when the center of oligarchy, usury, and geopolitics was Venice, the group of 
islands in a lagoon at the top of the Adriatic. In the sixteenth century, in the wake of the war of 
the League of Cambrai, Venice was a cancer planning its own metastasis. These were the years 
during which the patrician party known as the Giovani, the Youngsters, began meeting in a salon 
known as Ridotto Morosini. It is here that the future course of England and Britain was charted. 

Chorus: "The consolidation of the Venetian Party in England and Britain was a question of 
culture." 

Francisco Zorzi of Venice, the close friend and relative of Gasparo Contarini, who was sent by the 
Venetian oligarchy to England as the sex advisor to Henry VIII, was a Cabalist and Rosicrucian. 
In 1529, Zorzi came to London to deliver his opinion, and he remained at the court for the rest of 
his life, building up an important party of followers - the nucleus of the modern Venetian Party in 
England. In 1525, Zorzi had published the treatise "De Harmonia Mundi," which uses the 
cabalistic Sephiroth to expound a mystical, irrationalist outlook and to undercut the influence of 
Nicolaus of Cusa. 

In 1536, when he was at the English court, Zorzi wrote his second major work, "In Scripturam 
Sacram Problemata." This is a manual of magic, with Zorzi assuring the aspiring wizard that 
Christian angels will guard him to make sure he does not fall into the hands of demons. 

Zorzi was a great influence on certain Elizabethan poets. Sir Philip Sydney was a follower of 
Zorzi, as was the immensely popular Edmund Spencer, the author of the long narrative poem 
"The Faerie Queene." Spencer is a key source for the idea of English imperial destiny as God's 
chosen people, with broad hints of British Israel. Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare 
both attacked Zorzi's influence in such plays as "Doctor Faustus" and "Othello," but the Venetian 
school was carried on by the Rosicrucian Robert Fludd, and, of course, by Francis Bacon and 
Thomas Hobbes. 

John Milton, the admirer of Paolo Sarpi and apologist for usury, is an example of the pro- 



Venetian Puritan of the Cromwell Commonwealth period. Milton taught that the Son of God is 
inferior to the Father, a kind of afterthought, and in any case not necessary. Milton was the 
contemporary of Sabbatai Zevi, the false messiah from Smyrna, Turkey, whose father was an 
agent for English Puritan merchants. Did Milton's "Paradise Regained" of 1671 reflect knowledge 
of Sabbatai Zevi's meteoric career, which burst on the world in 1665? 

The British East India Company was founded in 1600. By 1672, adventurers, such as Diamond 
Pitt, were freebooting around India. 

[Chorus] 

British empiricism started from Francis Bacon's inductive method based on sense certainty, all of 
which was taken directly from such Venetians as Paul Paruta and Pietro Sarpi. With Bacon is 
Thomas Hobbes, who wrote of human society as a war of all against all, necessarily dominated by 
a tyrannical leviathan state. Then came John Locke, for whom the human mind was a blank slate 
destined to be filled by sense perceptions. Locke's hedonism led him to the conclusion that human 
freedom was an absurd contradiction in terms. Locke was followed by the solipsist George 
Berkeley, who denied any basis in reality to our sense impressions: They are a kind of videotape 
played in each one of our heads by some unknown supernatural agency. Perception was the only 
existence there was. 

Then came the Scots lawyer and diplomat David Hume. For Hume also, there is really no human 
self, but merely a bundle of changing perceptions. In his "Enquiry Concerning Human 
Understanding" and other earlier works, Hume attacks the idea of cause and effect. For Hume, 
there is no necessary connection between a cause and an effect that the human mind can know 
with certainty; we only have a vague association or habit of thought that one phenomenon has 
usually been follow by another. But in these same earlier works, Hume had at least accepted the 
importance of filling the tabula rasa of each new human mind with a stock of received ideas of 
conduct which can be lumped under the heading of morals or custom, including religion. 

During Hume's later years, the power of the Shelburne faction became dominant in Britain, and 
Hume's skepticism became bolder and more radical. The later Hume, as in his "Dialogues 
Concerning Natural Religion," totally repudiated the notion of custom and morality in favor of an 
unbridled hedonism that points towards the depths of pederasty and degradation inhabited by 
Jeremy Bentham. 

Immanuel Kant, during his long teaching career at Konigsberg, Prussia, had been a retailer of 
Hume's ideas. The two liberals Kant and Hume had a broad common ground in their 
determination to eradicate the influence of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. But when Hume repudiated 
all notion of custom and traditional morality, even Kant could not follow. Kant responded with 
the "Critique of Pure Reason" to defend the notion of cause and effect as one of Aristotle's 
categories, against Hume, who had reached a sub-Aristotelian level. On this basis, Kant was able 
to defend customary ideas of religion and morality, "das Sittengesetz." The Kant-Hume split 
illustrates why British liberal empiricism tends to be several degrees more rotten than its 
continental European counterparts. 



[Chorus] 



It is clear that B'nai B'rith is an abject tool of British intelligence, run and directed to serve the 
interests of British imperial policy, and not the interests of Jews, or even of B'nai B'rith members. 
The one peculiarity of B'nai B'rith in comparison to the other organizations launched by 
Palmerston and his three stooges is that B'nai B'rith will be used for a wider variety of tasks in 
various countries and epochs. Therefore, B'nai B'rith will be more permanent in its continuous 
organization than its Mazzinian counterparts, among which it stands out as the most specialized. 

At the end of this century, one of the tasks assigned to B'nai B'rith will be to direct, with the help 
of other Mazzinian agents, the dismemberment and partition of the Ottoman Empire. This is the 
state the British will call the sick man of Europe. Historically, the Ottoman Empire offers 
surprising tolerance to its ethnic minorities. To blow up the empire, that will have to be changed 
into brutal oppression on the Mazzini model. In 1862, during the time of the American Civil War, 
Mazzini will call on all his agents anywhere near Russia to foment revolt as a way of causing 
trouble for Alexander II. A bit later, with the help of Young Poland, Mazzini will start a Young 
Ottoman movement out of an Adam Smith translation project in Paris. In 1876, the Young 
Ottomans will briefly seize power in Constantinople. They will end a debt moratorium, pay off the 
British, declare free trade, and bring in Anglo-French bankers. They will be quickly overthrown. 
But the same network will soon make a comeback as the Young Turks, whose rule will finally 
destroy the Ottoman Empire. 

[Chorus] 

B'nai B'rith networks will have a devastating impact on the culture of the twentieth century. 
Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, will be a leading member of the B'nai B'rith lodge 
in Vienna, Austria, during the twilight of the Hapsburg Empire. Freud later will cordially thank 
the members of that lodge for their support during the arduous early years in psychoanalysis. 
Indeed, several members of the lodge will provide the initiating cadre who along with Freud will 
found the quackery of psychoanalysis. This Freud will be a charlatan and a Cabalist. The 
anti-Semitism of Freud and of B'nai B'rith as an organization of British intelligence at the expense 
of Jews will be perhaps most clearly documented in Freud's last major work, "Moses and 
Monotheism." His hatred for creativity and the human mind will be documented in his essay on 
Leonardo da Vinci, in which he will assert, on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, that Leonardo 
was a homosexual. Later, the Frankfort Institute for Social Research will be founded with the 
program of merging Marx with Freud. One of the pillars of the Frankfort school will be Max 
Horkheimer. After the Second World War, Horkheimer will be instrumental in re- founding and 
re-organizing B'nai B'rith in Frankfort. The Frankfort school will provide the matrix for the youth 
culture and counter-culture of the postwar decades in the same way that Mazzini, the high priest 
of romanticism, has used his youth cults to shape the first half of the nineteenth century. 

[Chorus] 

Today, in 1850, Great Britain and the United States are traditional enemies moving towards their 
third military conflict after the American Revolution and the War of 1812. During the Civil War, 



the United States and Russia will together confront Lord Palmerston with a kind of League of 
Cambrai experience: the spectre of these two great powers arrayed against the British Empire and 
its stooges in a world war that London would almost certainly lose. After Gettysburg, the British 
will resign themselves to the continued existence of the United States for some time to come. 
They will focus their endeavors on using the United States and its power as a weapon in their own 
hands against Germany, Japan, Russia, and the developing countries. Cultural and financial 
subjugation will precede military exploitation; the Specie Resumption Act, the control of the US 
public debt by J.P. Morgan, and the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson 
will mark the way toward the so-called "special relationship," with American muscle working for 
the brain in London. Under these auspices, British geopolitics will organize two world wars and 
forty years of cold war. 

[Chorus] 

CONCLUSION 

Towards the end of the twentieth century, in the storms of the breakdown crisis that will follow 
the end of the NATO-Warsaw Pact confrontation, human beings will be forced to choose between 
two conflicting definitions of themselves. 

On the one hand, they will be able, as human beings always are [able], to choose creative reason, 
scientific discovery, and a true world order, of community of principle, of sovereign nations 
seeking progress through economic development. If the persons of those coming days are able to 
lift their eyes to the stars, they may be able to cease killing one another in order to possess a few 
square miles of mud on one small planet. If they are capable of recognizing the inherent 
universality of the human personality, the equality of each person as imago viva dei, then the 
domain of humanity will be without limit. 

But in those same days, the heirs of Mazzini and Lord Palmerston and B'nai B'rith, the servants 
of a dying Britain, will try to pull the world with them into the abyss. They will say that identity is 
that of an ethnic group, and that ethnicity controls man's destiny as it does among the animal 
species. They will tell Americans of the melting pot and so many others who have no ethnic 
identity that they must acquire a synthetic one. They will re-write history around a thousand false 
centers to deny that human progress is One. Nor will the minds of little children be exempted from 
these torments. Others will talk of multiculturalism in a time when the human image will be 
lacerated and violated and immolated as never before in the face of all the nations. If these voices 
prevail, then an eon of darkness will surely cover the world. When Palmerston ranted his "Civis 
Romanus sum!" in the parliament here in Westminster just a short time ago, he thought the empire 
was made, and that there would never be a reply. But a reply will come, after the British drive will 
have fallen short, thirteen years from now, when Abraham Lincoln will stand among the new 
graves and promise that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not 
perish from the earth. 



King Edward VII of Great Britain: Evil Demiurge of the Triple Entente and World War 1 



"For long years, King Edward wove, with masterly skill, the Nessus robe that was to destroy the 
German Hercules." - Leipziger Neuste Nachrichten, after the death of Edward VII, May 1910 

"What neither Azincourt nor Poitiers could do, the genius of Edward VII realized." - Emile 
Flourens, La France Conquise, 1906 

"There are no frictions between us, there is only rivalry." - Edward VII to State Secretary von 
Tschirschky of the German Foreign Ministry, at the Cronberg Anglo-German summit, 1906 

The Triple Entente is the name given to the alliance among Great Britain, France, and Russia 
which was formed during the first decade of this century, and which led to the outbreak of the 
First World War. This Triple Entente was the personal creation of King Edward VII of Britain. 
The Triple Entente was King Edward's own idea. 

It was King Edward who set up the British alliance with Japan, the Russo-Japanese War, and the 
1905 Russian Revolution. It was King Edward VII, acting as the autocrat of British foreign 
policy, who engineered the Entente Cordiale between Britain and France in 1903-04, and who 
then went on to seal the fateful British-Russian Entente of 1907. It was King Edward who 
massaged Theodore Roosevelt and other American leaders to help bring about the U.S. -U.K. 
"special relationship," which dates from the time of his reign. This diplomatic work was 
masterminded and carried out by King Edward VII personally, with the various British ministers, 
cabinets, round tables, and other apparatus merely following in his wake. Edward had a 
geopolitical vision in the Venetian tradition, and it was one of brutal simplicity: the encirclement 
of Germany with a hostile coalition, followed by a war of annihilation in which many of Britain's 
erstwhile "allies" - notably France and Russia - would also be decimated and crippled. 

Edward VII died in May 1910, before he could see his life's work carried through to completion. 
But he had created the war alliance of Britain, France, Russia, and Japan, with support from the 
United States, that would take the field in August 1914. He had created the nightmare world of 
crossed mobilizations among Germany, France, and Russia. And he had created a network of 
cothinkers, agents, and dupes in every chancery in England, Europe, and America, who would, 
when the time came, push the mobilization buttons and launch the war. The madmen of 1914 - 
Sir Edward Grey, Izvolski, Sazonov, Delcasse, Clemenceau, Poincare - were all agents of 
Edward VII' s influence. It was Edward's crowd that made sure that the lights went out across 
Europe, not to be re-illuminated for a generation and more. 

Edward VII was also Casanova with a crown, a satyr and sodomist on the throne of England, the 
royal rake of Edwardian legend. All of this provides useful insight, but is finally beside the point. 
Edward VII, far more than any other single human being, was the author of the First World War, 
and thus brought about what is probably the most destructive single event in the history of 
western civilization. Without Edward's exertions, the war could never have occurred. The Lord 
of the Isles, as he appeared in Scottish costume at a ball in 1871, was the Lord of the Flies. 

And why should we be concerned with these matters today? The main things that have gone 
wrong with the twentieth century are demonstrably rooted in World War One. World War One 



opened the door both to the Communism of Lenin and Stalin and to the fascism of Mussolini and 
Hitler. World War One made possible the entire Versailles system, including reparations, which 
produced the Great Depression. And finally, World War II, with its greater scale of destruction, 
was essentially the prolongation of the First World War after two decades of fitful truce. And in 
our own time, the mad hatters and March hares of the London oligarchy, the Rees-Moggs, 
Evans-Pritchards, and the Hurds, are proposing a return to the Triple Entente as the shape of 
things to come. 

I. THE ANATOMY OF A MONSTER 
EDWARD VII, AUTOCRAT 

Edward VII has been hailed by the British as the greatest political activist of the House of 
Windsor, and as the greatest monarch since William the Conqueror in 1066. He represents the 
case in which the monarch and the leader of the oligarchy are united in the same person. The 
result was an autocrat more absolute than the Kaiser or the Czar. 

Edward VII's role as dictator of British foreign policy before the war, although denied by recent 
biographers, was a matter of common knowledge through the 1920s. During the last months of 
Edward's life, Robert Blatchford, the editor of the Clarion, wrote in the Daily Mail of Dec. 14, 
1909 that: "The king and his councilors have strained every nerve to establish Ententes with 
Russia and with Italy; and have formed an Entente with France, and as well with Japan. Why? To 
isolate Germany." (Farrer, p. 261) 

J.A. Farrer, writing after the cataclysm of World War I, commented that Edward's: "whole reign 
was a preparation and education for a war accepted as inevitable. ... It is now plain that 
[Edward's] policy, though achieving peace in some directions, was in essence a policy of war, and 
one that ended in war. The panic of a German invasion, sustained by the Press during the whole 
decade, failed of such discouragement as might have prevented a needless enmity to arise between 
us and Germany. The king seems to have shared the popular belief in the will and power of 
Germany to invade us." (Farrer, p. 5, pp. 261-262) 

The leading ambassadors and ministers of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs clearly recorded 
their understanding of Edward's project. Here is the view of Baron Greindl, the Belgian 
ambassador to Berlin, as expressed in April 1906: "One is driven to the conclusion that British 
foreign policy is directed by the king in person . . . there is undoubtedly in England a court policy 
pursued outside and alongside that of the government." In 1907 Greindl added: "The king of 
England's visit to the king of Spain is one of the moves in the campaign to isolate Germany that is 
being personally directed with as much perseverance as success by his Majesty King Edward VII." 
(Middlemas, pp. 173-174) 

Austrian sources confirm the essential view of Edward the Encircler (Eduard der Einkreiser) as 
the architect of the Entente system. The following example is from the Vienna Neue Freie Presse 
of April 15, 1907, and came in response to Edward VII's overtures to Russia: "Who can fail to 
receive the impression that a diplomatic duel is being fought out between England and Germany 
under the eyes of the world. The king of England ... is no longer afraid of appearing to throw the 
whole influence of his personality into the scales whenever it is a question of thwarting the aims of 



German policy. The meeting at Gaeta [of Edward VII with the king of Italy] is another fact 
connected with the burning jealousy between England and Germany. Already people are asking 
themselves everywhere: 'What is the meaning of this continual political labor, carried on with 
open recklessness, whose object is to put a close ring around Germany?'" (Brooke-Shepherd, p. 
283) 

Born in 1841, Edward VII had the typical Saxe- Coburg- Gotha mug, like the current heir 
apparent. Edward VII was a pupil of Lord Palmerston, with whom he discussed a Russian alliance 
during the mid-1 860s. The young Edward was also close to Palmerston's stooge Napoleon III, 
and the Empress Eugenie. 

In that 1866 war, Edward's mother, Queen Victoria, sympathized with Prussia. But Edward 
supported Austria, even when Austria was crushed by Prussia at Koniggratz. In 1866, Edward 
favored what he called an Anglo-French Entente to contain Prussia. This was already the germ of 
the London-Paris Entente Cordiale of nearly 40 years later. Hostility to Prussia and later to 
Germany is thus the one fixed point of Edward VII's career. What is reflected here is classical 
Venetian geopolitics as applied by the British. For centuries, London's maxim has been to ally 
with the second strongest continental power to destroy the strongest continental power. Until 
1870, the British perceived Russia to be the strongest land power. In the 1870s that abruptly 
changed with the emergence of a united Germany. Edward VII was quicker than other elements 
of the British oligarchy to take note of that momentous shift. 

Edward visited Canada and the United States in the fall of 1860, helping to give a final push to 
secession and civil war. In 1862 he was in Egypt and the Middle East. In 1875-76 Edward visited 
India, where he helped to prepare the Afghan war of 1878, which was waged against the influence 
of Russia. One of the members of Edward's party on this tour was his fellow rake, lifelong friend, 
and political ally, Lord Carrington. 
QUEEN VICTORIA: MRS. JOHN BROWN 

Edward's apprenticeship for the monarchy was a long one. In 1861 his father, Prince Albert of 
Saxe- Coburg- Gotha, died. Edward's mother, Queen Victoria, went into deep mourning and did 
not emerge from it during the 40 remaining years of her life. The queen was an occultist, as befits 
a royal house which has always been dominated by Venetians. 

Queen Victoria retreated to her castle at Balmoral in the Scottish highlands, 500 miles north of 
London. The court was organized as a death cult, with every pretense that Albert was still alive. 
His laundry had to be done, and his nightgown laid out every night. Hot water was brought to his 
room every morning, and the chamber pot cleaned. There were two guest books, one for the 
queen, one for Albert, and so on. Victoria made repeated attempts to contact the shade of Prince 
Albert in the underworld - or the beyond - and these became the origins of the modern British 
occult bureau. As a result of these seances, the queen became convinced that John Brown, her 
Scottish gillie (attendant), was a powerful medium through whom the spirit of Albert addressed 
her. Gossip seeped out from Balmoral to London that John Brown was "the queen's stallion," 
granted every conjugal privilege, including adjoining bedrooms far from the ladies-in-waiting. A 
pamphlet about the queen appeared entitled "Mrs. John Brown." Victoria was very like Miss 



Habisham of Satis House in the Dickens novel "Great Expectations." This was the woman for 
whom time had stopped when she had lost her husband. When we factor in the frequent orders 
made for opium and heroin at the local Balmoral pharmacy, we get a picture of Victoria's life in 
the Highlands. Prim and straight laced it was not. 
EDWARD THE CARESSER 

When Edward VII married, he chose Princess Alexandra of the Danish Royal House, who had her 
own anti-German revanche complex because of Bismarck's war against Denmark in 1864. 
Victoria remained in mourning, gazing at a marble bust of Albert. Victoria refused to appear at 
state occasions, so Edward had to assume these functions, for 40 years. Edward set up a 
household in Marlborough House in London, and began his career as a royal rake. He became the 
undisputed leader of British high society. Hence the Edwardian legend of the sybaritic hedonist 
and sex maniac whose mistresses included Lillie Langtry, Daisy Countess of Warwick, Lady 
Brooke, Mrs. George Keppel, and others too numerous to mention. Some of the can-can dancers 
painted by Toulouse- Lautrec had been Edward's girlfriends. 

There was a fling with Sarah Bernhardt, the French actress. When Bernhardt was playing in 
"Fedora" in Paris, Edward told her that he had always wanted to be an actor. The next night, in 
the scene in which Fedora comes upon the dead body of her lover, few recognized the heir to the 
British throne: Edward VII had made his stage debut as a cadaver. 

Edward's home at Marlborough House in London was also a center of the "Homintern." One of 
Edward's friends, Lord Arthur Somerset - known to his friends as Podge - was arrested during a 
police raid in one of London's numerous homosexual brothels. A satire of Edward was written in 
the style of Tennyson's "Idylls of the King." This was called "Guelpho the Gay - the Corning K." 
Some recalled a predecessor on the throne, Edward the Confessor. This future king was to go 
down as Edward the Caresser. 

Prince Felix Yussupov was the heir to the biggest fortune in Russia. He was also considered the 
most beautiful transvestite in Europe. One evening Yussupov, dressed as a woman, attended the 
theater in Paris. He noted a portly, whiskered gentleman ogling him through an opera glass from 
one of the box seats. Within minutes, Yussupov received a mash note signed King Edward VII. 
Remember that Yussupov is the man who assassinated Rasputin, the holy man and reputed 
German agent, in December 1916, detonating the Russian Revolution a few months later. Here 
we see the great political importance of King Edward's Homintern. 
THE HOUSE OF JACK THE RIPPER 

Edward VII' s first son was Prince Albert Victor Edward, known in the family as Prince Eddy and 
formally as the Duke of Clarence and Avondale. Prince Eddy, like his father, had been considered 
mentally impaired in his youth. 

Prince Eddy was arrested at least once in a homosexual brothel. His main claim to fame today is 
that he is the prime suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders. This grisly series of crimes involved 
the murder of five prostitutes in the Whitechapel- Spitalfields slum of London in 1888-89. At the 
time of the murders, rumors abounded of the involvement of a member of the royal family, and of 



an obscure background of Freemasonic intrigue. The papers of the attending physician of the 
royal family indicate that he had indeed treated Jack the Ripper. A number of exhaustive studies 
have concluded that this was Prince Eddy. According to some versions, Prince Eddy had 
contracted syphilis during a trip to the West Indies during his youth, and this had affected his 
brain. According to others, Prince Eddy was part of a homosexual clique that killed because they 
hated women. There is no doubt that Prince Eddy answered to the best available description of 
the Ripper. Young Prince Eddy conveniently died a few years after the Ripper murders ceased. 

A quarter of a century ago, a British physician came forward with evidence supporting the thesis 
that Jack the Ripper was Prince Eddy. A wire service dispatch from the period sums up the 
allegations made at that time: 

"LONDON, Nov. 1, 1970 (AP) - The Sunday Times expressed belief today that Jack the Ripper, 
infamous London murderer of nearly 100 years ago, was Edward, Duke of Clarence, grandson of 
Queen Victoria and older brother of George V. The Times was commenting on the statement of 
an eminent British surgeon who said that the Ripper 'was the heir to power and wealth.' The 
surgeon, Thomas EA. Stowell, while claiming to know who the criminal was, refused to identify 
him in an article to be published tomorrow in The Criminologist. . . . The Sunday Times, in 
commenting on Dr. StowelPs article, said there was one name that fitted his evidence. It said: 'It 
is a sensational name: Edward, Duke of Clarence, grandson of Queen Victoria, brother of George 
V, and heir to the throne of England. All the points of Dr. Stowell's story fit this man.'" (Spierig, 
p. 11) 

Shortly after having published his article in The Criminologist and thus made his allegations 
public, Dr. Stowell wrote a letter to the London Times in which he disavowed any intention of 
identifying Prince Eddy or any other member of the royal family as Jack the Ripper. In this letter 
Stowell signed himself as "a loyalist and a Royalist." Stowell died mysteriously one day after this 
letter appeared, and his family promptly burned all his papers. 

An American study of the Jack the Ripper mystery was authored by the forensic psychiatrist 
David Abrahamsen, who sums up his own conclusions as follows: "It is an analysis of the 
psychological parameters that enabled me to discover that the Ripper murders were perpetrated 
by Prince Eddy and J.K. Stephen." (Abrahamsen, pp. 103-104) J.K. Stephen had been chosen as a 
tutor for Prince Eddy, who was mentally impaired. Stephen was a homosexual. He was the son of 
the pathological woman-hater Fitzjames Stephen. J.K. Stephen's uncle was Sir Leslie Stephen, the 
writer. There is evidence that J.K. Stephen sexually molested his cousin, best known today by her 
married name, Virginia Woolf, the novelist. This experience may be related to Virginia Woolf s 
numerous suicide attempts. 

While he was at Cambridge, Prince Eddy was a member of the Apostles secret society. 
Abrahamsen quotes a maxim of the Apostles: "The love of man for man is greater than that of 
man for woman, a philosophy known to the Apostles as the higher sodomy." [p. 123] Prince Eddy 
died on Jan. 14, 1892. J.K. Stephen died in a sanitarium on Feb. 3, 1892. 



Prince Eddy's younger brother, the later George V, assumed his place in the succession, married 



Eddy's former fiancee, Princess May of Teck, and became the father of the Nazi King Edward 
VIII. If the persistent reports are true, the great-uncle of the current queen was the homicidal 
maniac Jack the Ripper. Perhaps the recurring dispute about what to call the British royal house - 
Hanover, Windsor, Guelph, Saxe- Coburg- Gotha, etc. - could be simplified by calling it the 
House of Jack the Ripper. 

Of the existence of a coverup there can be no doubt. One of the main saboteurs of the 
investigation was a certain Gen. Sir Charles Warren, the chief of the London Metropolitan Police. 
Warren suppressed evidence, had witnesses intimidated, and was forced to resign amidst a public 
outcry about Masonic conspiracy. Warren was the master of a new Freemasonic lodge that had 
recently been created in London. This was the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, number 
2076 of the Scottish rite. The Quatuor Coronati lodge had been founded in 1884 with a warrant 
from the Grand Master of British freemasonry, who happened to be Edward VII. 
II. THE HOMICIDAL UNCLE OF EUROPE: EDWARD VII' S NETWORK 

During these years, Edward VII built up an unparalleled personal network of politicians and 
others who owed their careers to him. They are historically significant because they constituted 
the international war party up through 1914, and have remained in power through two world wars 
and the cold war, into the Balkan crisis of the 1990s. 
THE CHURCHILL FAMILY 

One of the habitues of Edward's Marlborough House fast set and a rising member of Parliament 
during the Disraeli era of the 1870?s was Lord Randolph Churchill. Randolph was clearly headed 
for a great political career when he died of syphilis. Randolph's son was Sir Winston Churchill, 
who was promoted by Edward VII to a post in the Privy Council. Winston considered himself 
King Edward's protege; Edward had urged him to pursue a career in politics and writing. For a 
time Winston sent the king a daily letter summing up the activities of the House of Commons. 
THE CHAMBERLAINS 

Another of Edward's most important political operatives was Joseph Chamberlain. Chamberlain 
had been mayor of Birmingham and known for his anti-royalist rhetoric, but he soon became a 
member of the Marlborough House set. When Edward VII wanted to start the Boer War, he did 
so through Joseph Chamberlain, who was the Colonial Secretary between 1895 and 1903, serving 
for years in Lord Salisbury's cabinet. Chamberlain was an architect of the Fashoda crisis with 
France and of the Boer War. Chamberlain was also the point man for Edward's deception 
operation of an alliance with Germany. Edward also used Chamberlain to propose the Entente 
Cordiale to the French. Those who don't know Joseph Chamberlain may know his son, the later 
Prime Minister Sir Neville Chamberlain, the author of the Munich sellout of 1938. 
SIR EDWARD GREY 

A family servant of Edward VII was Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary who actually 
started World War I. Grey's father was an army officer who had joined the household of Edward 
VII when he was Prince of Wales. The elder Grey was an equerry, or master of the royal horses. 
Edward VII was Edward Grey's godfather, and did the traveling while Grey stayed in the Foreign 
Office to do the clerking. Grey's problem later, in August 1914, was to make Germany think that 



England would not go to war until the war had actually started. This he did with the help of King 
Edward's surviving son, George V. At the same time, Grey had to convince the Russians and the 
French that Britain would indeed honor the Triple Entente and go to war in support of Russian 
aggression. In his effort to start the war, Grey also had to lie to his own prime minister and 
cabinet. He finally had to sell the entire result to the House of Commons. Grey was Perfide Albion 
with an Edwardian pedigree. 
How Edward Grey Started World War 1 

By 1914, even after decades of British geopolitical machinations, it still required all of Sir Edward 
Grey's perfidy and cunning to detonate the greatest conflagration in world history by exploiting 
the diplomatic crisis surrounding the assassination of the Austrian heir apparent Archduke Franz 
Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo, Bosnia. 

Sir Edward Grey had learned an important lesson in the Moroccan crisis of 191 1, when Germany 
sent the warship Panther to Agadir to secure German interests there, which were in conflict with 
those of France. This lesson was that if Germany clearly perceived in a crisis that there was a 
direct risk of Anglo- German war, Berlin would back down, frustrating the war party in London. 
In the Agadir crisis, the British minister Lloyd George had delivered a clear public warning to 
Berlin, and Germany had replied at once that she was not seeking a permanent presence on the 
Atlantic coast of Morocco; the crisis was soon resolved. 

The German chancellor from 1909 to 1917, Dr. Theobald von Bethmann- Hollweg, was an 
anglophile and a crony of the Kaiser's student days, anxious to make concessions to London in 
order to secure peace. Sir Edward Grey declared in 1912 that any differences between England 
and Germany would never assume dangerous proportions "so long as German policy was directed 
by" Bethmann- Hollweg. 

During the Balkan Wars and the Liman von Sanders affair of 1913, Grey cultivated the illusion of 
good relations with Germany. By mid- 19 14, Anglo- German relations were judged by Sir Edward 
Goschen, the British ambassador to Berlin, as "more friendly and cordial than they had been in 
years." But it was all a trick by Perfidious Albion. 

Some weeks after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Austrian government, 
blaming Belgrade, addressed a very harsh ultimatum to Serbia on July 23 demanding sweeping 
concessions for investigating the crime and the suppression of anti- Austrian agitation. The 
Russian court Slavophiles were demanding war against Austria and Germany in defense of Serbia; 
these Slavophiles were madmen on the strategic offensive who sought a general European war. In 
Vienna, the leading minister, Count Berchtold, and the chief of staff, Conrad von Hoetzendorff, 
were determined to use the crisis to smash Serbia, which they saw as a threat to the survival of 
their empire. Berchtold and Hoetzendorff were madmen on the strategic defensive, even if they 
assumed the tactical offensive against Serbia. Their aggressive intentions involved Serbia, but not 
other great powers. When Serbia issued a conciliatory reply to the Austrian ultimatum, Kaiser 
Wilhelm II and others were relieved and thought that the war danger had receded; but the Vienna 
madmen seized on minor refusals by Serbia to declare war on July 28. 



If Sir Edward Grey had sincerely wished to avoid war, he could have pursued one of two courses 
of action. The first would have been to warn Germany early in the crisis that in case of general 
war, Britain would fight on the side of France and Russia. This would have propelled the Kaiser 
and Bethmann into the strongest efforts to restrain the Vienna madmen, probably forcing them to 
back down. The other course would have been to warn Paris and especially St. Petersburg that 
Britain had no intention of being embroiled in world war over the Balkan squabble, and would 
remain neutral. This would have undercut the St. Petersburg militarists, and would have 
motivated Paris to act as a restraining influence. 

Grey, a disciple of Edward VII, did neither of these things. Instead he maintained a posture of 
deception designed to make Germany think England would remain neutral, while giving Paris 
hints that England would support Russia and France. These hints were then passed on to Russian 
Foreign Minister Sazonov, a British agent, and to Czar Nicholas II. In this way, French 
revanchistes and Russian Slavophiles were subtly encouraged on the path of aggression. 

Grey's deception of Germany meant assuming the posture of a mediator rather than a possible 
party to the conflict. In early and middle July, Grey proposed direct conversations between 
Vienna and St. Petersburg to avoid war, but dropped this when French President Poincare, a 
war-monger, responded that this would be "very dangerous." On July 24, Grey shifted to a 
proposal for mediation by other great powers of the Austrian- Russian dispute. On July 26, Grey 
proposed a conference of ambassadors from England, France, Italy, and Germany, which was 
declined by Germany for various reasons. Grey's charade of war avoidance contributed to 
complacency in Berlin and a failure to do anything to restrain the Vienna crazies, since, the Kaiser 
thought, if England did not fight, France and Russia were unlikely to do so either. 

Edward VII' s son King George V made a vital contribution to the British deception. Late on July 
26, King George V told the Kaiser's brother, Prince Henry, who was visiting England, that Britain 
had "no quarrel with anyone and I hope we shall remain neutral." This was seized upon by the 
pathetic Kaiser as a binding pledge of British neutrality for which, he said "I have the word of a 
king; and that is sufficient for me." The gullible Kaiser Wilhelm was kept thoroughly disoriented 
during the last critical period when Germany could have forced Vienna to back down and avoid 
general war, before the fateful Russian and Austrian mobilizations of July 30 and 3 1 . 
The Declaration Of War 

It was late on July 29 before any warning of British armed intervention in the looming conflict 
was received in Berlin. When German forces entered Belgium in the context of the Schlieffen Plan 
(the German plan for a two-front war against France and Russia), Grey declared war at midnight 
Aug. 4-5, 1914. 

The British were the first of the great powers to mobilize their war machine, in this case the 
Grand Fleet of the Royal Navy. On July 19, the British had already staged a formidable naval 
demonstration with a review of the Grand Fleet at Portsmouth. On the afternoon of July 28, 
Winston Churchill ordered the fleet to proceed during the night at high speed with no lights from 
Portsmouth through the Straits of Dover to its wartime base of operations at Scapa Flow, north 
of Scotland. On July 29, the official "warning telegram" was sent out from the Admiralty; the 



British fleet was now on a full war footing. 



The first continental state to mobilize had been Serbia, on July 25. The order of general 
mobilizations was Serbia, Great Britain, Russia, Austria, France, and, finally, Germany. 
ADMIRAL JACKIE FISHER 

A leading proponent of preventive war against Germany was Edward's protege Adm. Jackie 
Fisher, the man who introduced the new battleship called the Dreadnought. Fisher owed his entire 
career to Edward's patronage. As First Sea Lord after 1904, Fisher was constantly talking about 
the need for a sneak attack to destroy the German Navy. He called this the need to "Copenhagen" 
the German fleet, referring to British attacks on the Danish fleet in Copenhagen harbor during the 
Napoleonic wars. Fisher caused a war scare in November 1904, during frictions with Germany 
involving the Russo- Japanese war. At this time, his demand for Copenhagening leaked out. 
During the first Moroccan crisis of 1905, Fisher was at it again, telling Edward that the Royal 
Navy could "have the German fleet, the Kiel canal, and Schleswig- Holstein within a fortnight." 
(Magnus, p. 340) In the Balkan crisis of 1908, Fisher again called for Copenhagening. Fisher once 
expressed his gratitude to Edward for protecting him from his many enemies who, he said, "would 
have eaten me but for Your Majesty." (Magnus, p. 442) 

Nobody in Europe, not the Austrian crazies Berchtold and Hoetzendorf, not the even crazier 
Russian Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich, was so outspoken a warmonger as Fisher. 
SIR ERNEST CASSELL 

Sir Ernest Cassell typified another group that Edward VII cultivated assiduously: Jewish bankers. 
As Prince of Wales, Edward had to live on a limited allowance, and he was deeply in debt. 
Edward accordingly allowed a series of Jewish bankers to buy their way to presentability at court 
by their benevolent management of his personal finances, with the proviso that Edward would 
always make a handsome profit. The first of Edward's financial advisers was Baron von Hirsch of 
Vienna. Then came Sir Ernest Cassell, knighted by Edward. Edward also cultivated the 
Rothschild and Sassoon families. In short, Edward's personal household finance agency was 
identical with the leading lights of turn- of-the-century Zionism. Cassell was also a political 
operative for Edward, becoming the head of the Ottoman National Bank - the Banque Ottomane 
- at the request of the Young Turk regime in 1909. 
BATTENBERGS AND BASTARDS 

Edward was also a close friend of Prince Louis of Battenberg, who married Princess Victoria, the 
daughter of Edward's late sister Alice, in 1884. This marks the entrance of the Mountbatten 
family, including Lord Louis and Prince Philip, onto the British royal scene. Asquith, Balfour, and 
Lloyd George were all more or less Edward's stooges. Edward's influence also lived on through 
his bastards, one of whom, Sir Stewart Menzies, was a boss of British secret intelligence who 
betrayed vital U.S. secrets to the Soviets. 
CLEMENCEAU 

Edward's French network was extensive, and included royalists and oligarchs. The common 
denominator of Edward's network was la revanche, the need for France to exact vengeance from 



Germany for the loss of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine in 1871. The central figure was a 
leftish radical, Georges "Tiger" Clemenceau, France's wartime premier and the chairman of the 
Peace Conference at Versailles. Clemenceau's talents for overthrowing governments gave the 
Third French Republic some of its proverbial instability. Clemenceau was attacked from 1892 on 
as a British agent and paid spy of the British Embassy. 

Former French Foreign Minister Emile Flourens saw that the Dreyfus affair was concocted by 
Edward VII and his agents in order to break French institutional resistance to a dictatorial regime 
of Clemenceau. Flourens wrote that: "Clemenceau is the pro-consul of the English king, charged 
with the administration of his province of the Gauls." (Flourens, 1906) Flourens argued that the 
friends of the late French leader Leon Gambetta were determined to resist Clemenceau. At the 
same time, in Flourens's view, the French Army simply hated Clemenceau. According to 
Flourens, Edward VII used the 1890s Panama scandal to wreck the Gambetta political machine, 
and then unleashed the Dreyfus affair in order to break the resistance of the French Army to 
Clemenceau. 

Flourens also showed how Edward VII was the mastermind of the post-1904 anti-clerical hysteria 
in France, which included the confiscation of Catholic Church property and the break of 
diplomatic relations with the Holy See. For Flourens, Edward VII was seeking to shut down the 
French Catholic foreign missions, which had proved a barrier to British colonial expansion. 
Edward VII's ultimate goal was to create a schismatic church in France on the Anglican or 
Presbyterian model, wrote Flourens. "As the schism in England dates from the reign of Henry 
VIII, so the schism in France will date from the reign of Edward VII." (Flourens, pp. 155-156) 
THEOPHILE DELCASSE 

Delcasse was Edward's partner in the British- French Entente Cordiale of 1903-04. Delcasse had 
taken office in the British- French confrontation around the Fashoda crisis, when London and 
Paris had been on the verge of war. Delcasse's view was that France could survive only as a very 
junior partner of the British. 

When Kaiser Wilhelm made his famous visit to Tangier, Morocco in March 1905, France and 
Germany came to the brink of war. At this time, Edward VII was vacationing on board his yacht 
in the Mediterranean. During the debate on the Moroccan question in the French National 
Assembly in April 1905, Delcasse came under heavy attack because of his refusal to seek a modus 
vivendi with Germany; one of Delcasse's severest critics was the socialist leader Jean Jaures. 
When Delcasse was about to be forced into resignation, Edward VII docked his yacht, the 
Victoria and Albert, at Algiers, and asked the French governor- general to send a telegram to 
Paris. This was a personal message to Delcasse dated April 23 in which Edward announced that 
he would be "personally distressed" if Delcasse were to leave office. Edward "strongly urged" 
Delcasse to remain in office, because of his great political influence but also because of England. 
As in the case of Alexander Izvolski, Edward VII was not reticent about standing up for his own 
puppets. 

But it became clear that Delcasse had been acting as Edward's minister, not the republic's, and 
that he had been lying to his ministerial colleagues about the actual danger of war with Germany. 



Delcasse fell as foreign minister, but stayed on in other posts. Other members of Edward's 
network in France included Paul Cambon, for many years the French ambassador in London, and 
Raymond Poincare, the wartime President and a leading warmonger. 
ALEXANDER IZVOLSKI 

"A plumpish, dandified man, he wore a pearl pin in his white waistcoat, affected white spats, 
carried a lorgnette, and always trailed a faint touch of violet eau de cologne." So wrote a 
contemporary of Alexander Petrovich Izvolski, the Russian foreign minister who was Edward's 
partner for the Anglo- Russian Entente of 1907, which completed the encirclement of Germany. 
Edward first proposed the Anglo- Russian Entente to Izvolski in 1904, and at that point Izvolski 
entered Edward's personal service. Izvolski was made Russian foreign minister in May 1906, after 
Russia's defeat in the Russo- Japanese War; he served under Prime Minister Pyotr Stolypin. With 
Izvolski, Russian diplomacy gave up all interest in the Far East, made deals with the British for 
Iran, Afghanistan, and Tibet, and concentrated everything on expansion in the Balkans - the 
approach that was to lead straight to World War. 

When Izvolski's position as Russian foreign minister became weakened as a result of his Buchlau 
Bargain adventure, Edward VII took the singular step of writing to Czar Nicholas II to endorse 
the further tenure in office of his own agent. Edward wrote: "You know how anxious I am for the 
most friendly relations between Russia and England, not only in Asia but also in Europe, and I feel 
confident that through M. Izvolski these hopes will be realized." (Middlemas, p. 170) 

Izvolski had to settle for Russia's embassy in Paris, where he used a special fund to bribe the Paris 
press to write that France should go to war. In July 1914, Izvolski ran around yelling that it was 
his war. As Lord Bertie, the British ambassador to Paris, confided to his diary: "What a fool 
Izvolski is! ... At the beginning of the war he claimed to be its author: C'est ma guerre!" (Fay, I, 
p. 29) 

Izvolski was succeeded as Russian foreign minister by Sazonov, another British agent who played 
a key role in starting the fateful Russian mobilization of July, 1914. 
THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Edward VII's favorite pen pal was U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, who was handled from 
day to day by Cecil Spring-Rice of Sir Edward Grey's Foreign Office. Edward can hardly have 
been ignorant of the British role in the assassination of President William McKinley. Starting in 
1904, Edward wrote Teddy letters about how the two of them had been placed in command "of 
the two great branches of the Anglo-Saxon race." Teddy wrote back about the need for 
"understanding between the English-speaking peoples," and discussing his race theories about 
"our stock." Teddy wrote to Edward his view that "the real interests of the English-speaking 
peoples are one, alike in the Atlantic and the Pacific." Roosevelt served Edward's goals in his 
mediation of the Russo- Japanese War, in his support for the British at the Algeciras Conference, 
and in raising naval disarmament at the Hague Conference. Behind his back, Edward's envoys 
mocked the U.S. President as a semi-savage who gave primitive lunches at Oyster Bay. Later, Sir 
Edward Grey exerted a decisive influence on Woodrow Wilson through the intermediary of his 
key adviser, Col. Edward House. 



Edward was called the Uncle of Europe - Uncle Bertie - because so many of Queen Victoria's 
other children married into the various royal houses, making one European royal family. This, 
Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany was Edward's nephew. Czar Nicholas II was also his nephew, 
married to Edward's wife's niece. After 40 years as Prince of Wales, Edward knew Europe like a 
book. He was personally acquainted with every crowned head, every prominent statesman and 
minister, and "he could accurately gauge their influence, their processes of thought, their probable 
action in a given emergency." 
IDEOLOGICAL MANIPULATION 

Emile Flourens found that Edward owed his triumphs primarily to himself, to his "profound 
knowledge of the human heart and the sagacity with which he could sort out the vices and 
weaknesses of individuals and peoples and make these into the worst and most destructive of 
weapons against them." Edward's empire was built on "eternal human folly," on the "intellectual 
and moral degradation" of the subject populations. Flourens praised Edward's practical 
understanding of French ideology. Edward knew how to exploit the chauvinism of the Alsace- 
Lorraine revanchards to incite France against Germany. He knew how to play upon the 
fascination of the Russian Slavophiles with the Greater Serbia agitation in the Balkans. He knew 
how to use the hatred of the Italian irredentisti against Austria to detach Italy from the 
pro -German Triple Alliance. He knew how to drive wedges between Germany and Austria by 
evoking Vienna's resentments of the 1866 war and Prussian preeminence, and their fear of Serbia. 
He could exploit an American racist's eagerness to be, like the king, a member of a mythical 
Anglo-Saxon race. He could use the aspirations of Japanese militarists, for the greater glory of the 
British Empire. Much of Edward's personal magnetism was exercised during his incessant state 
visits, where he was able to unleash highly orchestrated outbursts of "Bertiemania." Those who 
recall the equally implausible Gorbymania of some years back will find the phenomenon familiar. 
KAISER WILHELM II 

Edward's mastery of psychological and ideological manipulation is most evident in his relation 
with his pathetic and unstable nephew, Kaiser Wilhelm. Edward made a detailed study of Willy's 
psychological profile, which he knew to be pervaded by feelings of inferiority and incurable 
anglophilia. As Flourens noted: "Edward VII made an in-depth study of the defects of Wilhelm II. 
He counted them as his most precious allies." (Flourens, p. 58) 

The British and Entente demonization of Wilhelm as the world's chief warmonger was always 
absurd. Wilhelm felt inferior to British royalty. Wilhelm' s greatest secret desire was for 
acceptance by the British royals. Edward could modulate his own behavior to get the desired 
result from the Kaiser. If he wanted a public tantrum, he could get that. One British writer, Legge, 
reports that Edward punched the Kaiser and knocked him down in a meeting. 

But if Edward needed to be friendly, he could do that too. During the Boer War, in November 
1899, when Britain's diplomatic isolation was at its height, Edward was able to con the Kaiser 
into making a state visit to Britain. The Boxer Rebellion in China, with its overtone of white racial 
solidarity against the "yellow peril," was also made to order for duping the Kaiser. In Wilhelm's 
dockside harangue to the German contingent setting out for Peking, he urged his soldiers on to 
cruelty against the Chinese: 



"Give no quarter! Take no prisoners! Kill him when he falls into your hands! Even as, a thousand 
years ago, the Huns under their King Attila made such a name for themselves as still resounds in 
terror through legend and fable, so may the name of Germans resound through Chinese history a 
thousand years from now." (Cowles, p. 177) This "Huns" speech has provided grist for the 
London propaganda mill for almost a century, from World War I to the Margaret Thatcher- 
Nicholas Ridley "Fourth Reich" hysteria of 1989. Not just once, but again and again, the Kaiser 
muffed opportunities to checkmate Edward's plans. 

Edward also played on the Kaiser to sabotage the Berlin to Baghdad railway. At Windsor Castle 
in 1907, Edward demanded that the British keep control of a section of the railway between 
Baghdad and the Persian Gulf as a "gate," supposedly to block German troops going to India. 
The Kaiser was ready to grant such a gate. Otherwise, Edward demanded that all talks about the 
Baghdad railway should be four-way, with France, Russia, Britain, and Germany involved, so that 
German proposals would always be voted down 3 to 1 . 

When the war was finally over, and the Kaiser had lost his throne, the first thing he wanted in 
exile from the Dutch host was a cup of real English tea. 

Edward joked with his French friends that while many prayed to an eternal father, he alone 
seemed to have an eternal mother. Queen Victoria finally died in 1901, and Edward began his 
drive to world war. 

III. TAILORING AND FITTING THE NESSUS ROBE 

Edward's problem as the twentieth century began was rooted in old Lord Salisbury's policy of 
British "splendid isolation." On the continent of Europe were two main alliances, the Triple 
Alliance of Germany and Austria- Hungary, with Italy as an adulterous partner, and opposite to 
this the Dual Alliance of the France of Hanotaux with the Russia of Count Witte. Britain was a 
member of neither one. British relations with all the continental powers was bad. Russia had been 
traditionally hostile since the Crimean War of mid- century. With France, Britain had just been to 
the brink of war in the Fashoda affair. War had been avoided, but French resentment was very 
great. Relations between Britain and the United States of President Grover Cleveland were 
traditionally also bad; a dangerous flare-up had come in the 1895 boundary dispute between 
Venezuela and British Guyana, when the US had invoked the Monroe Doctrine and forced the 
British to accept arbitration. Edward had tried to quiet that one with the help of his asset Joseph 
Pulitzer. 

THE BOER WAR CRISIS 

In the midst of all this, Edward and Joseph Chamberlain had started the Boer War against 
Transvaal and the Orange Free State, two small states dominated by the Dutch-speaking settlers 
of the Cape area of South Africa. The British attempt to force the Afrikaners to knuckle under led 
to the celebrated "Black Week" of December, 1899, with a stunning series of British military 
defeats on the ground. 

A wave of anti-British hatred swept the world as press accounts from the front showed that the 
bullying imperial colossus had feet of clay. German, French, and Russian newspapers fulminated 



against London. The Russian government asked Paris and Berlin if they might not consider an 
intervention to stop the British. Agitation increased when the British responded to their defeats 
with increased atrocities. The British set up the century's first concentration camps where 
Afrikaner children were systematically starved to death. 
A CAMBRAI DANGER FOR THE BRITISH EMPIRE 

As a good Venetian, Edward recognized what he was dealing with. It was a Cambrai moment. In 
1509, the Venetian oligarchy, after centuries of geopolitical perfidy, had been faced with a united 
front of virtually every other power in Europe, all wanting to destroy Venice. Edward himself had 
seen something similar in 1863, when Russia and the United States seemed about to combine to 
crush the British Empire. Between 1899 and 1902, public opinion in every country, including the 
US, demanded measures against the British lion. Britain risked a continental league or continental 
coalition, a new League of Cambrai against the new Venetians in London. Edward's official 
biographer Sir Sidney Lee makes the danger perceived by London in those days explicit enough: 

"The year 1901 and the first part of 1902 found all unofficial Europe sympathizing with the 
enemies of Great Britain in South Africa, and any serious diplomatic mistake on the part of Britain 
in those days might have resulted in European swords being flung into the balance act against 
her." [Lee II. 731] "...there was always a chance, although a remote one, that jealousy of Britain, 
from which no great European power could be reckoned quite free, might be so stimulated by 
circumstances as to bring the members of the two alliances together in a combined challenge to 
Britain's place in the world. Britain was thus isolated, friendless, and engaged in a none too 
successful or popular war when King Edward ascended the throne. . . . Lord Salisbury, King 
Edward's first Prime Minister, had long been wedded to that policy of 'splendid isolation' which 
had been the constant British tradition through the last forty-five years of Queen Victoria's long 
reign. Persistence in that policy offered little opportunity of improving the foreign situation as it 
existed in 1901, and might actually have exposed Britain to the risk of a hostile combination on a 
well-nigh overwhelming scale." [Lee, II. 116-117] 

Gasparo Contarini and the Venetian patricians of his time had responded to the War of the 
League of Cambrai by launching the Protestant Reformation and the wars of religion. Edward 
responded to the isolation of the British Empire by launching World War One. 
PERFIDE ALBION 

The first imperative for Edward was a deception operation, designed to dupe and neutralize 
Germany, the natural centerpiece of any continental coalition against England. This was the 
mission of Joseph Chamberlain, a member of Lord Salisbury's cabinet. In his celebrated speech at 
Leicester in November, 1899, Chamberlain said, "No far-seeing statesman could be content with 
England's permanent isolation on the continent of Europe. . . . The natural alliance is between 
ourselves and the German Empire. . . . Both interest and racial sentiment unite the two peoples, and 
a new Triple Alliance between [sic] Germany, England, and the United States would correspond 
with the sentimental tie that already binds Teutons and Anglo-Saxons together." [Lee, II. 117] 

The rhetoric of a racist alliance was designed to entice the Kaiser, who was so eager to be 
accepted among the Anglo-Saxons. Wilhelm was advised by the Chancellor, Prince von Buelow, 



who was slippery as an eel, and by the grey eminence of the German Foreign Ministry, Baron von 
Holstein. Were these men British agents or British dupes? Were they part of a homosexual court 
cabal? In any case, Berlin sought an Anglo-German deal, but with hard bargaining. The Berlin 
consensus was that Britain needed Germany, and as time went on the price that London would 
have to pay for German help would only increase. The Kaiser's policy was to move slowly 
towards a deal with London. Von Buelow and Holstein stressed that a British alliance with either 
France or Russia was simply impossible, given the existing frictions. 

And so, Wilhelm and his advisors let slip the great opportunity for a continental bloc, which 
would have meshed with the efforts of Hanotaux and Wittle. Wilhelm was chasing the chimera of 
an accord with London which was nothing but a racist deception ploy. In January, 1901, in town 
for Queen Victoria's funeral, the Kaiser was still proposing an "Anglo-German alliance, [the 
British] to keep the sea and [Germany] the land; with such an alliance, not a mouse could stir in 
Europe without our permission...." Even after 1918, the Kaiser was still repeating that he had 
saved Britain from a French- German- Russian combine during the Boer War. 
THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR AND 1905 RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

The Kaiser was constantly babbling about the "yellow peril" in the Far East, but the first ally 
Edward got for himself was Japan. Edward wished to use Japan as his Asian torpedo against 
Russia. The Japanese wanted Russia to stop encroaching on what they considered their sphere of 
influence in China and Korea. But sections of the Russian oligarchy hostile to Witte refused to 
respect Korea, and the Japanese were looking for an ally. The critical moment came when the 
former Prime Minister, Marquis Ito, visited London in December, 1901. Edward saw to it that Ito 
was socially lionized and decorated, and an Anglo- Japanese treaty was signed within a month. 
Both partners were in a hurry because Witte's Trans-Siberian railway was nearing completion, 
and that would vastly increase Russian power in the Far East. The key clause was that if Japan 
went to war in the Far East against a single power, Britain would observe a benevolent neutrality. 
This meant that if Japan and Russia came to war, the British would prevent any other Europeans 
from helping Russia. This gave Japan a free hand for Admiral Togo's sneak attack on the Russian 
base of Port Arthur in early 1904. 

King Edward did everything but go to war against Russia. When Russia lost their fleet in the Far 
East, they embarked on the desperate gamble of sending their Baltic squadron around the world 
to fight the Japanese. In October, 1904, the Russian ships, steaming through the North Sea, fired 
on some British fishing trawlers, sinking one of them. The Russian admiral thought they were 
Japanese torpedo boats. In this Dogger Bank incident, Edward at first went to the brink of war 
and demanded that the Royal Navy stop the Russian ships, seize the Russian admiral, and punish 
him. Later, Edward backed down. 

In order to reach the Far East, the Russian fleet required logistical assistance, since there was 
nowhere to get coal. The Kaiser was now in the mood to court Russia, so German ships did the 
coaling. The British press thereupon demanded that the Royal Navy stop the Germans from 
delivering the coal. At the same time, Admiral Fisher began popping off about Copenhagening the 
Germans. But this was all a circus, set up by Edward for his diplomatic aims. The Russians came 
out of the war with one capital ship left. But Edward wanted a disaster, not just a defeat, for 



Russia - a disaster that was beyond the power of Japan to inflict. To procure the disaster he 
wanted, Edward unleashed British intelligence and all of its assets - boyars, democrats, 
communists, Zionists, the works. This produced a civil war which went on into 1906, crippling 
Russia as a military power. 

In the meantime, Edward had sealed his pact with France. 
THE ANGLO-FRENCH ENTENTE CORDIALE OF 1904 

At first Edward was not popular in France, because of centuries of conflict, and because of 
Fashoda, for which he was blamed personally. Indeed, for a time Edward's image in the Paris 
press was decidedly bad. Joseph Chamberlain, who had terrified the French with his pro-German 
line, took the message to the French: Edward was willing to trade Egypt for Morocco to get a 
deal with France. This was a very unequal barter. Since the 1880?s, the British presence in Egypt 
had been officially temporary, ostensibly a matter of restoring order in the name of the other 
European powers; the British would then get out. They had no intention of getting out, but 
instead wanted the whole Nile Valley. But the French, the builders of the Suez Canal, still had 
some rights. However, if the French caved in, the British position in Egypt would be unassailable, 
at least by Europeans. Morocco was much different. The Moroccan government was stronger, 
and there were strong competing claims by Germany and Spain. In fact, the idea of French 
preeminence in Morocco placed France on a collision course with Germany once again. 

But French society had been weakened by Edward's Dreyfus affair, and with the help of Delcasse, 
Clemenceau, and Cambon, the deal was signed. Edward also contributed a tour de force of 
personal diplomacy, his visit to Paris in the spring of 1903. Here Bertie turned on the charm, with 
speeches in French about friendship while recalling his own sentimental association with Paris, 
Biarritz, and the Riviera. With the press doubtless well paid, the Parisian dandies and gratins 
turned anglophile overnight in an explosion of Bertiemania that was crowned by Edward's 
appearance at Longchamp, the race track, with President Loubet, of puppet of Clemenceau. This 
Bertiemania started France on the road that led to Verdun, with 6 million casualties, 
proportionally the highest of any belligerent. 

Edward had designed the Morocco gambit in the hope that Germany would quickly take the bait 
and challenge the new French domination in Morocco. Prince von Buelow gave Edward exactly 
the crisis he needed. Von Buelow told the Kaiser that Germany should challenge France in 
Morocco, both to defend commercial interests and to show France that the British alliance was 
worthless. If France was the continental dagger now in the hands of England, von Buelow argued, 
it was time to knock that dagger out of British hands. Von Buelow convinced the witless Kaiser 
to undertake the lunatic adventure of a visit - like Uncle Bertie - but to Tangier, Morocco, where 
the Kaiser landed in March, 1905. This led to the predictable confrontation between France and 
Germany. Delcasse decided to hang tough and go to the brink. When the real immediate risk of a 
war with Germany became clear to Delcasse's colleagues in the government, Delcasse was fired. 
But this crisis succeeded in heating up the revanche syndrome in France once more, and directing 
all the hatred against Germany. Especially because their ally Russia was crippled, and still at war 
with Japan, the French were thrown completely into the arms of Edward. At the same time, secret 
conventions were signed for a division of labor between the British and French fleets, and 



planning was begun for the future British Expeditionary Force. 

This first Moroccan crisis was a serious attempt by Edward to start war, despite the fact that 
France's ally, Russia, was crippled. Edward may have had a promise of support from Denmark, as 
well. It is certain that Edward was urging France to go all the way. Under the Dual Alliance, 
Russia would have had to join France in war like it or not. But the French cabinet pulled back. 
BJOERKJOE: THE IMPOTENT REVOLT OF TWO DOOMED NEPHEWS 

In the midst of all these events, Kaiser Wilhelm and Tsar Nicholas II met at Bjoerkjoe, a Baltic 
fjord in Finland. This was a poignant moment, the last abortive revolt of the two doomed nephews 
of Edward VII - the revolt of cousin Willy and cousin Nicky. Nicholas was very unhappy with his 
French alliance, since France had done nothing to help him against Japan, and had concentrated 
on courting Uncle Bertie. The Kaiser had momentarily returned to his continental league 
sloganeering. As the two conversed, it became clear to the Kaiser that they shared a common 
ground of resentment against Uncle Bertie. Here is the Kaiser's narrative, as sent to his 
chancellor, von Buelow: 

"Our talk then turned on England, and it very soon appeared that the Tsar feels a deep personal 
anger at England and the King. He called Edward VII the greatest 'mischief- maker' and the most 
dangerous and deceptive intriguer in the world. I could only agree with him, adding that I 
especially had had to suffer from his intrigues in recent years. He has a passion for plotting against 
every power, of making 'a little agreement,' whereupon the Tsar interrupted me, striking the table 
with his fist: 'Well, I can only say he shall not get one from me, and never in my life against 
Germany or you, my word of honor upon it!'" [Fay 175] 

The Kaiser proposed that the two cousins join in a "little agreement" of their own to stymie 
Edward. The Tsar accepted, and signed a draft treaty of mutual defense which the Kaiser pulled 
from his pocket. The two tearfully pledged friendship. But these two borderline psychotics were 
unable to imagine a community of principle based on economic development, since that would 
have contradicted oligarchism, and both demented cousins were oligarchical to the core. 

Still, if the idea of Russo -German cooperation had been exploited, the World War could not have 
occurred in the form which it finally assumed in 1914. But when the Kaiser told von Buelow 
about his talks, the chancellor threatened to resign, in response to which the Kaiser threatened to 
commit suicide if jilted. The Russian response was more complicated, but the opportunity drifted 
away. Within 2 years, Russia would be England's ally. 
AIMING AT ENCIRCLEMENT 

Edward VII left no stone unturned in his efforts to isolate Germany. Edward VII was a prime 
mover in the dissolution of the personal union of the crowns of Norway and Sweden which gave 
rise to an independent Norway under British sponsorship in 1905. To underline his point, Edward 
saw to it that his son in law, the Danish Prince Charles (who had married Edward's third 
daughter, Maud) became King of the newly independent Norway with the name of Haakon VII. 
Because of his marriage with the anti-German princess Alexandra, Edward was confident that no 
support for Germany would be forthcoming from Copenhagen. 



Spain was an important country with an ancient grievance against the British: Gibraltar, which the 
redcoats had occupied since 1704 and the War of the Spanish Succession. In a general European 
war, there was a clear potential for Spain to join Germany against the Entente. In the face of 
modern artillery, the British would have been hard pressed to defend Gibraltar. If Spain had also 
conducted hostilities against France, there was the threat that many French divisions might be tied 
down in costly attacks on the natural fortress of the Pyrenees. In this latter case, France would 
have been encircled and confronted with a two-front war. Edward VII pacified Spain by marrying 
one of his nieces to the Spanish King; this niece converted to Catholicism for the occasion. 

To Portugal, Britain's oldest ally, Edward gave worthless promises about British support for the 
integrity of the Portuguese colonial empire. Portugal duly entered World War I on the side of the 
British. 

THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN ENTENTE 

On the same day in April, 1904 on which the Anglo-French entente had come into effect, Edward 
VII had met with his agent Izvolski to propose an Anglo-Russian combination. The big crises of 
the Russo-Japanese war were still months ahead, but Edward moved fast. With the help of 
Izvolski, Edward cut a deal with Russia that divided Iran into spheres of influence, while 
Afghanistan and Tibet were both neutralized, much to the disadvantage of Russia. The Russian 
Slavophiles got nothing tangible about their eternal goal of Constantinople. 

The Anglo-Russian entente was signed in September, 1907. In June, 1908, Edward VII sailed to 
Reval for an ocean-going state visit to Tsar Nicholas. Admiral Jackie Fisher was there, urging 
Stolypin to build up his land forces facing Germany. The meeting of uncle and nephew was the 
grimmest of portents, foreshadowing Russia's nine million casualties in World War I - the most of 
any belligerent - with more than three quarters of all Russian soldiers ending up killed, wounded, 
or missing. This set the stage for the revolutions of 1917 and the Bolshevik regime. 

But for Edward, the important thing was that Germany was now encircled. The ring had been 
closed. Bismarck's old nightmare of the coalitions (le cauchemar des coalitions) and a two-front 
war was now reality. With the help of Izvolski, Edward embarked at once on a new attempt to 
start general war. This started with Izvolski's Buchlau Bargain with Austria, made in September, 
1908, and revealed a month later. By this deal Austria was given the go-ahead to formally annex 
Bosnia- Herzegovina, which had been occupied by Austria after the Congress of Berlin, but not 
annexed. In exchange Russia was supposed to get the right to send warships through the straits, 
but this was blocked by the British. But when Austria annexed Bosnia- Herzegovina, Serbia, 
which wanted Bosnia- Herzegovina, protested. Austria and Serbia went to the brink of war, 
mobilizing their armies. Germany restrained Austria, and Russia felt too weak for war. Germany 
actually mediated the dispute. But Edward's agents soon concocted a legend that Germany had 
humiliated Russia with the threat of war. 

As a result of this Balkan crisis of 1908-1909, the Russian Slavophiles turned their rage more and 
more against Germany, which they saw as blocking their desired path of expansion into the 
Balkans. The greater Serbia agitators went wild. The Austrian government concluded that Serbia 
was a threat to its existence, and had to be crushed. This was the pattern which, after a second 



Moroccan crisis of 191 1 much like the first, and after the Balkan wars, led to war in 1914. 

Behind the Buchlau Bargain and the Balkan crisis of 1908-1909 was - King Edward. Russian war 
with Germany had been on his agenda with the Tsar in Reval. In August, 1908, Edward had met 
with Izvolski and Clemenceau at Marienbad, just before Izvolski made the bargain. During the 
same month Edward also met with Franz Joseph, the Austrian Emperor, in Bad Ischl. Edward had 
every reason to start a crisis. If Germany had repudiated Austria, Germany would have emerged 
totally isolated, with no allies at all left. If Germany supported Austria, the result would be either 
immediate war, or increased tensions that could turn into war soon. 
SPLITTING THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE 

One of Edward's last memorable outings was his 1909 visit with King Victor Emmanuel, held at 
Baiae near Naples on April 29, 1909. Here Edward VII briefed his agent, Italian Foreign Minister 
Tittoni on what he saw as the alarming growth of the Austro- Hungarian fleet, the navy of a 
power to which Italy was theoretically allied, but to which it was in reality a rival. 

This was the meeting in which Edward VII made his famous toast to the "alliance" between Italy 
and Britain. Modern pedantic scholars have portrayed this as a blundering gaffe by Edward VII, 
allegedly proving that the King was a bungler in diplomacy. In the light of subsequent history, it is 
clear that Edward VII's toast to an Anglo- Italian alliance was perhaps a boastful indiscretion, but 
it was an error that came from knowing too much, not too little. It is likely that during this visit, 
Edward VII had secured from the Italian monarch and ministers commitments which rendered 
Italy's participation in the Triple Alliance wholly inoperative - commitments which withstood the 
test of 1914, and which were followed by Italy's entry into the war on the side of the Allies in 
May, 1915, in return for compensations purveyed by Theophile Delcasse. Edward's achievement 
meant that World War I would be fought not by three powers against three, as the alliance 
patterns might have suggested, but by four powers against two. 

If Edward VII had had his way, it would have been five powers against an isolated Germany. 
Edward VII never abandoned an Austrian option, which, if it had succeeded, would have left 
Berlin with no allies at all. An official in the entourage of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph was 
Baron Albert Margutti, who was on hand for each of the Bad Ischl meetings between Franz 
Joseph and Edward. Margutti wrote that, starting with the 1905 meeting, Edward VII began 
trying to entice Franz Joseph away from his German alliance, offering a series of vaguely defined 
compensations if he were to do so. [See Margutti, The Emperor Franz Joseph and His Times, pp. 
259-261.] The last of these Bad Ischl meetings came in August, 1908, just before the Buchlau 
Bargain. At this conference, Edward is reported to have pressed Franz Joseph to intercede with 
Berlin to stop the planned German fleet expansion. After this meeting, Franz Joseph is reported to 
have muttered, 'After all, I am a German prince." 

The war would come soon, but not soon enough for Edward. The old roue died in May, 1910. At 
the time a Leipzig newspaper wrote that he had skillfully woven the Nessus robe to destroy the 
German Hercules. Recall that in the old Greek myth, the hero Hercules could not be killed by any 
living man. But Hercules was killed by the centaur Nessus, who had tried to rape Dejaniera, the 
wife of Hercules. The dying Nessus told Dejaniera to soak Hercules' robe in his centaur blood, 



and dress him in it if he should ever seem unfaithful. Dejaniera later did this, and the poisoned 
blood of Nessus, the sex-crazed old centaur, finally killed Hercules. 

For a few moments during early August, 1914, the Kaiser realized what had happened: 

"England, Russia, and France have agreed among themselves. . . after laying the foundation of the 
casus foederis for us through Austria. . . to take the Austro -Serbian conflict for an excuse for 
waging a war of extermination against us. . . . That is the real naked situation slowly and cleverly 
set going by Edward VII and. . . finally brought to a conclusion by George V. . . . So the famous 
encirclement of Germany has finally become a fact, despite every effort of our politicians and 
diplomats to prevent it. The net has been suddenly thrown over our head, and England sneeringly 
reaps the most brilliant success of her persistently prosecuted anti-German world policy against 
which we have proved ourselves helpless, while she twists the noose of our political and economic 
destruction out of our fidelity to Austria, as we squirm isolated in the net. A great achievement, 
which arouses the admiration even of him who is to be destroyed as its result! Edward VII is 
stronger after his death than am I who am still alive! And there have been people who believed 
that England could be won over or pacified, by this or that puny measure! ! !" [emphasis added; in 
Cowles, p. 347, from Kautsky Documents] 

In 1915 a pamphlet was issued in Berlin by the military writer Reinhold Wagner. The pamphlet 
was entitled "The Greatest Criminal Against Humanity in the Twentieth Century: King Edward 

VII of England." With admirable conciseness, Wagner formulated his indictment of the deceased 
British monarch: "The greatest criminal against humankind which the twentieth century has seen 
so far was King Edward VII of England. For he was the one, he was the one, who has instigated 
the world war of today." Despite everything that has happened in this tormented world since 
1915, Wagner's case is still ovemhelmingly compelling. 

From Edward's time to our own, the British monarchy has successfully weathered three storms. 
One was the "republican" agitation of circa 1870, reflecting the dissatisfaction with Victoria as a 
royal recluse, and with Edward, the heir apparent, as a rake. Then came 1916-1918, when British 
troops began to die in large numbers on the western front in King Edward's World War I, which 
caused a wave of hatred of all things German, including the royal family, which had to take the 
absurd name of "Windsor" to cover up their German origins. This was when George V refused to 
accept the Tsar, because of the fear of an even greater political reaction. Then came the Edward 

VIII crisis of 1937, which reflected the fact that the King was a Nazi. Now, since 1991-92, we 
have the Charles-Diana crisis, which reflects a deeper breakdown in the Versailles system. There 
is no reason to assume that the British monarchy, having weathered all these storms, will be easily 
swept away. We must rather conclude that the royals will stop at nothing, including a military 
coup, a fascist dictatorship, or World War III, to avoid giving up power. 

The historical truth about Edward VII simplifies the question of what and who caused World War 
I. The world war was caused by Edward VII, his geopolitics, his diplomacy, his agents, and his 
alliance system. A clause in the Versailles treaty specifies that Germany bears the entire guilt for 
World War I. This is a patent absurdity. The world war was caused by Edward VII, as we have 
seen. The dismantling of the Versailles system must therefore include the revision of the treaty to 



specify British war guilt in the person of Edward. 

France, Russia, Japan, the United States, and other great nations were used by Edward VII as 
geopolitical pawns, and they have suffered immeasurably as a result. Ninety years after Edward's 
ententes, citizens and statesmen must learn the lesson of how the British monarchy and oligarchy 
orchestrated the catastrophe of 1914. 

THE WAR GUILT CLAUSE OF THE VERSAILLES TREATY, 1919 

The entire international public order of the post-1919 era, including the League of Nations and, by 
extension, the United Nations, has been based on the absurd lie that Germany was solely 
responsible for the outbreak of World War I. This finding was officially reported to the Paris 
Peace Conference at the close of the war by a "Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors 
of the War," which was chaired by the American Secretary of State, Robert Lansing. Lansing 
refused to allow any Germans to take part in his deliberations, and the commission ignored a new 
"German White Book" compiled in 1919 by Hans Delbrueck, Professor Mendelssohn- Bartholdy, 
Count Montgelas, and Max Weber, which contained enough evidence to show that the thesis of 
exclusive German war guilt was untenable. The kernel of Lansing's conclusions was as follows: 

"The war was premeditated by the Central Powers together with their allies, Turkey and Bulgaria, 
and was the result of acts deliberately committed in order to make it unavoidable. Germany, in 
agreement with Austria- Hungary, deliberately worked to defeat all the many conciliatory 
proposals made by the Entente Powers." 

This false verdict was then incorporated into the infamous Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles, 
which alleges: 

"The Allied and Associated Governments affirm, and Germany accepts, the responsibility of 
Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated 
Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon 
them by the aggression of Germany and her allies." 

The German delegates were coerced into signing the Versailles Treaty by threats of renewed war 
and by the economic blockade still imposed on Germany after the armistice by the fleets of the 
Entente. The thesis of exclusive German war guilt was required by the Entente as a premise for 
the Carthaginian peace imposed on the Central Powers, which included the demand for more than 
$32 billion in war reparations, especially to France, plus interest for servicing this debt over 
decades into the future. 

In the years after the war, documentary evidence was published which further undermined the Big 
Lie of Versailles. This included Karl Kautsky's "Out break of the World War" (New York, 1924), 
the Soviet "Materials for the History of Franco- Russian Relations from 1910 to 1914? (Moscow, 
1922), the "Austrian Red Book of 1919," and the diary of Baron Schilling of the Russian Foreign 
Ministry (edited by W.C. Bridge, London, 1925). 

The false verdict of Versailles had already become a scandal in America during the 1920?s, when 



historians like H.E. Barnes and others demanded the revision of the war guilt clause. Typical is 
this conclusion from the academic historian Sidney B. Fay of Harvard in 1930: ". . .the verdict of 
the Versailles Treaty that Germany and her allies were responsible for the War, in view of the 
evidence now available, is historically unsound. It should therefore be revised. However, because 
of the popular feeling widespread in some Entente countries, it is doubtful whether a formal and 
legal revision is as yet practicable. There must first come a further revision by historical scholars, 
and through them of public opinion." 

Now, after fascism, a second world conflict, the cold war, and the fall of the communist regimes 
in Europe, the time has come to reopen the Versailles Treaty. The Treaty must be revised to 
specify the war guilt of an international conspiracy masterminded first by King Edward VII of 
England, and after him by Sir Edward Grey, of which figures like Izvolski, Sazonov, and 
Clemenceau were participants. The center of war guilt must be fixed in London. 
BIBLIOGRAPHY 

David Abrahamsen, "Murder and Madness: The Secret Life of Jack the Ripper" (New York: Fine, 
1992) 

Theo Aronson, "The King in Love: Edward VII 's Mistresses: Lillie Langtry, Daisy Warwick, 
Alice Keppel and Others" (New York: Harper & Row, 1988) 

Gordon Brook-Shepherd, "Uncle of Europe: The Social & Diplomatic Life of Edward VII" (New 
York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975) 

Virginia Cowles, "The Kaiser" (New York: Harper & Row, 1963) 
J. A. Farrer, "England Under Edward VII" (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1992) 
Sidney Bradshaw Fay, "The Origins of the World War" (New York: Macmillan, 1930) 
Emile Flourens, "La France Conquise" (Paris: Gamier, 1906) 

Christopher Hibbert, "The Royal Victorians: King Edward VII, His Family and Friends" (New 
York: J.B. Lippincott, 1976) 

Sir Sidney Lee, "King Edward VII: A Biography" (New York: Macmillan, 1927) 

Keith Middlemas, "The Life and Times of King Edward VII" (New York: Doubleday, 1972) 

Philip Magnus, "King Edward the Seventh" (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1964) 

Frank Spiering, "Prince Jack" (New York: Doubleday, 1978) 

Reinhold Wagner, "Der Groesste Verbrecher an der Menschheit im Zwanzigsten Jahrhundert: 
Koenig Eduard von England - Eine Fluchschrift" (Berlin: Verlag Karl Curtius, 1915) 



Stanley Weintraub, "Victoria: An Intimate Biography" (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1987) 

Sir Edward Grey Turned Sarajevo Crisis Into War 
Printed in The American Almanac, March, 1995 

Even after decades of British geopolitical machinations, it still required all of Sir Edward Grey's 
perfidy and cunning to detonate the greatest conflagration in world history by exploiting the 
diplomatic crisis surrounding the assassination of the Austrian heir apparent Archduke Franz 
Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo, Bosnia. 

Sir Edward Grey had learned an important lesson in the Moroccan crisis of 191 1, when Germany 
sent the warship {Panther} to Agadir to secure German interests there, which were in conflict 
with those of France. This lesson was that if Germany clearly perceived in a crisis that there was a 
direct risk of Anglo-German war, Berlin would back down, frustrating the war party in London. 
In the Agadir crisis, the British minister Lloyd George had delivered a clear public warning to 
Berlin, and Germany had replied at once that she was not seeking a permanent presence on the 
Atlantic coast of Morocco; the crisis was soon resolved. 

The German chancellor from 1909 to 1917, Dr. Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, was an 
anglophile and a crony of the kaiser's student days, anxious to make concessions to London in 
order to secure peace. Sir Edward Grey declared in 1912 that any differences between England 
and Germany would never assume dangerous proportions "so long as German policy was directed 
by" Bethmann-Hollweg. 

During the Balkan Wars and the Liman von Sanders affair of 1913, Grey cultivated the illusion of 
good relations with Germany. By mid- 19 14, Anglo-German relations were judged by Sir Edward 
Goschen, the British ambassador to Berlin, as "more friendly and cordial than they had been in 
years." But it was all a trick by Perfidious Albion. 

Some weeks after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Austrian government, 
blaming Belgrade, addressed a very harsh ultimatum to Serbia on July 23 demanding sweeping 
concessions for investigating the crime and the suppression of anti-Austrian agitation. The 
Russian court Slavophiles were demanding war against Austria and Germany in defense of Serbia; 
these Slavophiles were madmen on the strategic offensive who sought a general European war. In 
Vienna, the leading minister, Count Berchtold, and the chief of staff, Conrad von Hoetzendorff, 
were determined to use the crisis to smash Serbia, which they saw as a threat to the survival of 
their empire. Berchtold and Hoetzendorff were madmen on the strategic defensive, even if they 
assumed the tactical offensive against Serbia. Their aggressive intentions involved Serbia, but not 
other great powers. When Serbia issued a conciliatory reply to the Austrian ultimatum, Kaiser 
Wilhelm II and others were relieved and thought that the war danger had receded; but the Vienna 
madmen seized on minor refusals by Serbia to declare war on July 28. 

If Sir Edward Grey had sincerely wished to avoid war, he could have pursued one of two courses 
of action. The first would have been to warn Germany early in the crisis that in case of general 



war, Britain would fight on the side of France and Russia. This would have propelled the kaiser 
and Bethmann into the strongest efforts to restrain the Vienna madmen, probably forcing them to 
back down. The other course would have been to warn Paris and especially St. Petersburg that 
Britain had no intention of being embroiled in world war over the Balkan squabble, and would 
remain neutral. This would have undercut the St. Petersburg militarists, and would have 
motivated Paris to act as a restraining influence. 

Grey, a disciple of Edward VII, did neither of these things. Instead he maintained a posture of 
deception designed to make Germany think England would remain neutral, while giving Paris 
hints that England would support Russia and France. These hints were then passed on to Russian 
Foreign Minister Sazonov, a British agent, and to Czar Nicholas II. In this way, French 
{revanchistes} and Russian Slavophiles were subtly encouraged on the path of aggression. 

Grey's deception of Germany meant assuming the posture of a mediator rather than a possible 
party to the conflict. In early and middle July, Grey proposed direct conversations between 
Vienna and St. Petersburg to avoid war, but dropped this when French President Poincare, a 
war-monger, responded that this would be "very dangerous." On July 24, Grey shifted to a 
proposal for mediation by other great powers of the Austrian-Russian dispute. On July 26, Grey 
proposed a conference of ambassadors from England, France, Italy, and Germany, which was 
declined by Germany for various reasons. Grey's charade of war avoidance contributed to 
complacency in Berlin and a failure to do anything to restrain the Vienna crazies, since, the kaiser 
thought, if England did not fight, France and Russia were unlikely to do so either. 

Edward VII' s son King George V made a vital contribution to the British deception. Late on July 
26, King George V told the kaiser's brother, Prince Henry, who was visiting England, that Britain 
had "no quarrel with anyone and I hope we shall remain neutral." This was seized upon by the 
pathetic kaiser as a binding pledge of British neutrality for which, he said "I have the word of a 
king; and that is sufficient for me." The gullible Kaiser Wilhelm was kept thoroughly disoriented 
during the last critical period when Germany could have forced Vienna to back down and avoid 
general war, before the fateful Russian and Austrian mobilizations of July 30 and 3 1 . 

THE DECLARATION OF WAR 

It was late on July 29 before any warning of British armed intervention in the looming conflict 
was received in Berlin. When German forces entered Belgium in the context of the Schlieffen Plan 
(the German plan for a two-front war against France and Russia), Grey declared war at midnight 
Aug. 4-5, 1914. 

The British were the first of the great powers to mobilize their war machine, in this case the 
Grand Fleet of the Royal Navy. On July 19, the British had already staged a formidable naval 
demonstration with a review of the Grand Fleet at Portsmouth. On the afternoon of July 28, 
Winston Churchill ordered the fleet to proceed during the night at high speed with no lights from 
Portsmouth through the Straits of Dover to its wartime base of operations at Scapa Flow, north 
of Scotland. On July 29, the official "warning telegram" was sent out from the Admiralty; the 
British fleet was now on a full war footing. 



The first continental state to mobilize had been Serbia, on July 25. The order of general 
mobilizations was Serbia, Great Britain, Russia, Austria, France, and, finally, Germany. 

The Versailles Thesis: The Roots of WWI, and WWII 

Conference Speech by Webster Tarpley, Schiller Institute Food For Peace Conference, Chicago, 
Illinois, February 22-23, 1992. 

A different version was printed in The American Almanac, March, 1992 

I would like to attempt to illustrate the Versailles thesis in a certain amount of detail. I would say 
to people at the beginning, the best seats are emphatically here in the front part of the auditorium, 
because if you don't see these maps, it will be a little difficult to follow. So I urge you if you can, 
come up to the front. 

The Versailles thesis has been referred to several times in the course of today's proceedings 
already, and it is, in short, the idea that the world system or world order which is presently 
collapsing around our ears, is rooted above all in the events of the First World War between 1914 
and 1918; and then in the Versailles Treaty of 1919, actually in the Peace of Paris of 1919. 

The thesis goes on to specify, that World War I itself was the consequence of British geopolitical 
geostrategic decisions that were made in the period around 1870, in the wake of the American 
Civil War. That the British, from 1870 to 1914, actively sought a general conflagration for the 
purpose of destroying civilization and for preserving the British Empire as against the challenges 
that had emerged. 

Now the theme in this is constantly, the British quest for the single empire. Lyndon LaRouche 
referred to it before, I believe, the idea of a single new Roman Empire, an empire that would 
encompass the entire world, which would be under the ultimate domination of what the British 
considered to be an Anglo-Saxon master race. It would be oligarchical, colonial, imperialistic, 
malthusian, condemn large areas of the world to depopulation, poverty, and so forth; the 
preservation of the British Empire. 

As we will see, the British came very close to establishing just such a single empire in the period 
between about 1848 and 1863. That is a period that we'll look at in some detail, because it's a 
period that's very like our own today, a period when the British-the Anglo-Americans-come 
close to establishing this kind of universal domination, the new Roman Empire. 

In the course of this, I will have to simplify some things. We can certainly clarify some of those in 
the discussion, and I will have to proceed somewhat from the point of view of the British thrust in 
these directions, and you'll see the areas that pop up. We will also see the irony of history, that if 
the British came between 1850 and 1860, they came close to establishing their worldwide 
dominion, the irony is that then blew up in their faces, especially around the events of the 
American Civil War, the Russian cooperation with Lincoln during the Civil War, already referred 
to, to the point where by about 1870, the British had to fear a convergence of the United States, 



Russia, and united Germany, in such a way that the future of the British Empire would have been 
put into jeopardy, that British world domination would have been ruled out forever. 

In the course of this, as you'll see-and this is Lyn's tremendous merit, to be able to do this under 
the conditions that he's working-we will develop a radically new view of the last 200 years of 
history, which you will not find in any textbook, and indeed from the point of view of this 
concept, you can see what a tissue of lies the history of the last 200 years, as presented in 
Anglo-American sources actually is, and in particular, the official U.S. version of World War I 
and World War II, which is a complete tissue of lies, and any idea of German war guilt for World 
War I has to go out the window, and it has to yield to the idea, that World War I was a British 
creation which the British schemed for the best part of a half century, to bring about. 

Using the aids of modern technology here. . . [MAP NO. 1 : Europe as redrawn at Congress of 
Vienna, 1815] 

The question is, where do you start some kind of a review like this? We could usefully start it at 
the time of the American Revolution. What I thought we would do, though, is to skip to the end 
of the Napoleonic Wars, simply specifying that in the period before the Napoleonic Wars, in the 
period before 1815, the British were able to extend their colonial domination to vast areas of the 
world, including India and so forth, with of course the new nation, the United States, standing out 
as a barrier, as a challenge, to British imperialism. So let us leap to the end of the Napoleonic 
Wars, what many people know as the Europe of the Congress of Vienna, as you see here. This 
was Europe as the map was redrawn by the oligarchs gathered at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. 
So here's our starting point. 

Remember that in the world outside of Europe at this point, the British dominate. They rule the 
seas, the only significant challenge comes from the United States. Here's Congress of Vienna 
Europe. Notice Poland is completely submerged, Italy is divided, the Turkish Ottoman Empire 
extends far into continental Europe; and in the middle of everything, you've got this crazy quilt of 
Germany divided into dozens and dozens of petty states. Notice also that Belgium has been added 
to the Netherlands. 

This is the Europe that you associate with Metternich, Prince Metternich, the guy who was ruling 
here in Vienna at that time, the chief minister of the Hapsburg Court. This is the Europe of the 
Holy Alliance. It is a condominium in which the British are obliged to co-exist with Metternich 
and the kinds of Central European oligarchs that he represents. Metternich is a very, very ugly 
figure, needless to say. The British are forced to deal with him almost as an equal. However, what 
you see-and this is I think a characteristic of this period, after about 1820, the British begin to 
drop out of the Congress of Vienna system. They stop going to the congresses, they stop signing 
the declarations, and rather what they do is to assume a position of splendid isolation and at the 
same time to foment revolutions against all of their alleged allies on the continent of Europe. And 
in particular, the names of Mazzini, Karl Marx, Bakunin, the First International Workingmen's 
Association, plus all of the French socialists, Louis Bland, Fourier, and all these other people; this 
is all a society of British agents for the destabilization of Metternich and company on the 
continent of Europe. 



The British started a revolution here, in Serbia-they created that revolution in 1817. They created 
modern Greece in 1821; and the word went out from London, that the British oligarchs would 
support everybody's revolutions, except, of course, their own. And they fomented these things, 
and this is what gave birth to the revolutions of 1848. 

I have to caveat this, by saying 1848 is also other things. There are a lot of very good people 
active in 1848, but the general thrust of the British policy, is clearly this. 

Let me just show you what happened in 1848, in case people have forgotten this. Basically, every 
government in Europe was overthrown. The French July monarch was overthrown in favor of 
Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, a British agent and adventurer; every government in Italy was 
overthrown. In particular Mazzini succeeded in creating his Roman republic, forcing the pope to 
flee; Metternich himself was forced to flee from a revolution in Vienna; you had Kossuth in 
Hungary; every government in Germany was overthrown-not necessarily the monarch, but 
certainly the prime ministers-similar things in Spain, and so forth. The only country that escaped 
this was Russia, where there was no internal revolution. 

With one fell swoop, the British had succeeded in overthrowing every government on the 
continent of Europe, in particular forcing Metternich to disguise himself as an Englishman and flee 
to London. 

[NEXT MAP: 1848] 

Here is this extremely interesting period between the 1848 revolutions and the turning points of 
the American Civil War, and this is something you won't find in any history book. This is an 
absolutely original concept that LaRouche has developed. 

Let us look at the tremendous worldwide offensive of the British imperialists back in the 1850s. 

First of all, free trade. Where did free trade ever come from? Free trade was introduced by the 
British in 1846 and in the following years. Before that, as you may remember, they had Corn 
Laws. Very high tariffs to keep the price of grain extremely elevated, but this was then turned 
around, because they could look forward to the idea of being able to loot the world and therefore 
have free trade. 

The British were able to install their puppet, Napoleon III. He had studied the wars of Napoleon 
I, his ancestor, and he concluded that Napoleon's big mistake was fighting the British, so as so 
often happens in the history of French imperialism, here's a French imperialist who believes, that 
the way to have a French empire, is to be a junior partner to the British. That's exactly what he 
did. This is then acted out in the Crimean War, where the British and the French join together to 
invade Russia, the only country that had survived those 1848 destabilizations. 

We've also got, in terms of a worldwide offensive, a reorganization of British rule in India. This is 
the famous Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, which led to the end of the direct rule of the British East India 
Company out there, and the creation of a British Viceroy of India. 



In China, the Second Opium War fits precisely into this period. This is the British grabbing a 
whole series of ports and other bases on the coast of China, and it was clear at the time that they 
were about to go into China to partition the entire country. 

And Kansas. How does Kansas fit in? Well, Kansas is the beginning of the American Civil War. 
Bleeding Kansas, with gangs of pro-Confederate and pro-Union, or pro-slavery and 
pro-abolitionist groups, fighting it out in a continuous bloodletting. Filibustering expeditions by 
proto-Confederates into Latin America, and the creation of this Hapsburg/Maximilian Empire in 
Mexico. You look at this together, there's not one continent of the entire globe where the British 
are not in a tremendous offensive. The idea is that the single empire is within their grasp. 

Now, pause for a second. It's very similar to today. If you look at this, it looks like the British on 
paper have wrapped up the entire world. And you could say today, if you look at the map, if you 
calculate, you could say, well, it really looks like the Anglo-Americans have dominated the world, 
and that the Anglo-Americans will continue to dominate the world for the next century. But let 
me just anticipate that it's not going to be so. 

[MAP OF CRIMEAN WAR] 

Here's the Crimean War. Here we are on the Black Sea, and what do we find here? The Ottoman 
Empire, of course; Russia up here, so who goes in? The British and the French bust through the 
Bosporus and the Dardanelles, and they actually invade the Crimea here. This was one of the 
largest amphibious war operations, the largest up to that time to be sure. And they succeed in 
defeating the Russian Army, although what they find is, that their forces are not significant 
enough to push further inside the country. 

[MAP OF BALACLAVA] 

This is the city of Balaclava. If you remember, Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade"? This is 
one that Fred Wills could quote at great length. The charge of the Light Brigade took place here. 
This is the British invasion fleet, Anglo-French invasion, and there are some very large Russian 
forts in the background, and that's what the British threw their Light Brigade against. So here we 
are in the Crimean War. 

[MAP] 

Maximilian! Remember him? The Hapsburg heir who was placed on the throne of Mexico by a 
French army, sent by Louis Napoleon Bonaparte? There he is. 

The idea was to begin to reintroduce direct colonialism, by British or by British puppet states, into 
Mexico, Central America, and Ibero-America in general. 

[INDIA] 

In India, as we saw, the Sepoy Mutiny led to a vast reorganization of British colonialism in the 



area, sending out a viceroy from London and before too long, Queen Victoria was proclaimed 
"Empress of India," with this great empire, ruling over maharajahs and other local potentates. 

We have to pay special attention to the 1850s in the United States, and Lyn has been very 
emphatic about this. 

If you look at the United States in the 1850s, then you have to conclude that the place was a dead 
duck-lost. Why? 

Let's start with the leadership. Let's look at the great series of presidents: Millard Fillmore, 
starting in the 1850s; Franklin Pierce, the ancestor of Barbara Pierce, Barbara Bush; and James 
Buchanan. This was the president under whose term the Civil War actually began to break out. 
Someone said that this shows that one President Buchanan was enough. 

What happened under these? This is typical. 

Here's Jefferson Davis, wearing his uniform of major general of the United States Army. He was 
not just a major-general; he was secretary of war under these administrations. 

So what you had under presidents like Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan, was that the Confederate 
traitors, like Jefferson Davis-members of the British Scottish Rite Freemasons, pro to-Confederate 
slaveholders, traitors, the scum of the earth; they could make great careers in the United States 
Army. And, of course, later on, this was the same Jefferson Davis who became the president of 
the Confederate States of America, that despicable puppet state. 

And again Lyn has warned us: Don't be fooled by the Confederacy. Don't be fooled by that Sir 
Walter Scott aura of chilvalry and J.E.B. Stuart wrapped up in God knows what that's palmed off 
as the ethos of the Confederacy. This was based on human slavery, this was one of the most 
despicable, proto-fascist states that has ever been seen on the face of the earth. Davis was the 
president. 

People like Ulysses S. Grant, that you see here, could not make a career in the Army. It's 
interesting to see, that while Jefferson Davis was getting promoted, generals like Sherman and 
Grant were forced out of the U.S. military service, and had to go into business, they had to go 
into the private sector, to try to earn a living. 

Here's a typical Confederate. We've talked a lot about him. Judah P. Benjamin: he was the 
secretary of the treasury of the Confederate States of America. At the end of the Civil War, he 
fled to Britain, where he lived. This is precisely the kind of British imperialist agent that you find 
in the upper reaches of the Confederate government. He is, of course, an agent in particular of the 
Rothschild family of London, and this mixture of what you would have to call Zionism and 
Confederacy today, that animates an organization like the Anti-Defamation League. That's 
exactly what this is. The ADL today continues the characteristic mentality of Judah Benjamin. 

And then, you look in the Union officers corps. How about this guy? He thinks he's Napoleon, or 



he's checking if he's still got his wallet. That's George McClellan, who, in 1862, 1861-62, was 
the commander of all the Union armies. And here he is at Antietam. 

This is the battle where McClellan had a good chance to destroy the Confederate Army under 
Lee. But he refused to do that. McClellan refused to attack on many occasions, because he 
wanted a negotiated peace. He said, "I can sit down with Robert E. Lee and work this out, and 
Abraham Lincoln doesn't really belong in this, because he doesn't understand these things the way 
I do." This is an interchange, where Lincoln is basically telling him, "Why didn't you pursue Lee? 
You could have destroyed him on the battlefield, and you refused to do it, now the Civil War's 
going to go on for three more years." 

Here's the way this was viewed in a cartoon of the day. This is pro-McClellan propaganda. Here's 
Lincoln on the one side and Jefferson Davis on the other, and here's George P. McClellan who's 
trying to reconcile them, mediating between them if you will. And of course he was the 
Democratic presidential candidate in 1864; and if it hadn't been for Sherman at Atlanta and Phil 
Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley and the naval battles off Cherbourg, France, then he might 
have won, and that would have been the end of the Union-because that was the idea, that the 
negotiated settlement would leave the Confederate States of America in existence, as a British 
puppet state. 

Now, let's look at the way in which this world, which seemed lost, blew up in the face of the 
British. 

A reforming czar in Russia, Alexander II. He came in in the midst of the Crimean War, just as his 
country was under tremendous attack, came in with a vast program of reforms, in particular, the 
freeing of the serfs in 1851. Then we've got the turning-point year 1863, the Emancipation 
Proclamation, the twin Union victories of Gettysburg and Vicksburg especially, and, as we will 
see, the arrival of the Russian fleets in New York and San Francisco. 

The Seven Weeks' War. This is one that's hardly known. This was the defeat of Austria by 
Prussia, which was the immediate prelude to the complete unification of Germany. The collapse of 
Maximilian's Hapsburg Empire in Mexico; German unification completed. And as we've stressed, 
what came out of these events, this tremendous turnaround of the 1860s, when all seemed to be 
lost, was a convergence of the United States, Russia, and Prussia-or call it Germany by that 
time-which attracted the attention of key forces in Japan and China. If you go back to Japan in 
this period, the reforming forces in Japan divide pretty much between pro-American and 
pro -German. 

Here was the potential for a new combination in the northern hemisphere, the United States, 
Russia, Prussia, plus China and Japan, that would have been sufficient to dominate the world, and 
finish off the British Empire once and for all. Let's take a look at how this went. 

Of course, the principal figure in this is Abraham Lincoln, who administered one of the most 
severe defeats that British imperialism has ever had to absorb in the last 200 years. 



This is Lincoln's ambassador. This is the original Cassius Clay, Cassius Clay of Kentucky. He was 
the Union ambassador to St. Petersburg at the time of the Civil War, and he secured really the 
only military assistance from any foreign power for Lincoln and for the Union. 

This is Admiral [] The photographer here is Mathew Brady, and Mathew Brady, the great Civil 
War photographer, had his studio in New York City. And here's Admiral [], the commander of 
the Russian Atlantic fleet. Did he come all the way to have his picture taken? Obviously not. 

The Russian fleet arrived in September and October. It sort of came in one ship after another, 
over a period of a couple of weeks. In September and October the Russian Atlantic fleet arrived 
in New York City, and they had been ordered by the Czar to place themselves under the 
command of Lincoln in case of war between Britain, and France on the one side, and the Union 
on the other. Russia was going to join in that war. They had just fought the Crimean War against 
the British and the French, and they were ready to continue fighting. 

Similarly, another Russian fleet came to San Francisco, and spent the winter of 1863-64. 

Here is another photograph by Mathew Brady. These are actual sailors of the Russian Atlantic 
fleet, who came into New York City in the fall of 1863, and played a key role in the saving of the 
Union, because this was a token of the fact, that if, for example, Napoleon III sent an army to 
fight the United States, then he would probably have to deal with Russia, on the continent of 
Europe. As Gideon Welles, the secretary of the navy for Lincoln in those days said: "Thank God 
for the Russians." 

Here's that other one that I just mentioned. This is a war that in the United States you almost 
never hear about, here is a war between Prussia on the one side, and Austria on the other. And 
this is the Seven Weeks' War. The Prussian army was capable, within a period of about 50 days, 
of vanquishing the Austro -Hungarian forces. I think what the interesting thing about this is, this 
took place in 1866. What has never really been looked into, is the relation of Gettysburg on the 
one side, with German unification on the other. Would it be possible for Germany to have been 
unified, if Lincoln had not won the Civil War? I would submit to you, that Gettysburg and 
Vicksburg are key turning points of world history, also in the sense that they opened the door to 
the unification of Germany. 

One interesting fact. The kingdom of Hanover, here, which is, of course, where the British royal 
family comes from, was an island. It had ceased to exist as a result of this war. The Prussians 
simply put an end to the existence of Hanover. I can assure you the British didn't like that; they 
would have done something about this, if they had not been so thoroughly defeated in the U.S. 
Civil War. 

Here's unified Germany. Again, if you look at this map with the colors, you can see the crazy 
quilt that had existed, Bavaria down here, Baden- Wurttemburg over here, 
Mecklenburg- Schwerien and so forth; this was now brought together as one powerful unified 
national state by 1871. So, U.S., Russia, Prussia. 



However, the British Empire was, of course, very powerful at this point. Many people think, they 
tend to situate the British Empire high point back in the days of George III. Well, these are figures 
from 1909 and they will show you, that in 1909, the British dominated one-quarter of the 
population of the world in the British Empire. One-quarter of the world's population were 
subjects of the British Empire and about one-fifth of the world's land surface. There are other 
accounts that will tell you it's about 25 percent of the population, and indeed 25 percent of the 
land surface. Remember that the British Empire got even bigger after the First World War by 
absorbing German colonies, so much so that the entire coastline of the Indian Ocean, was 
completely British controlled. This was then called "the British Lake." 

And there, of course, is the old Brzezinski arc of crisis, which is simply the axis of British 
colonialism around the Indian Ocean. 

What could the continental Europeans do to resist this kind of British domination? 

Well, this is the railway system on the continent of Europe at about 1900. 1 think one interesting 
thing to us as you look at us, is that it's clear there are three key points in the European railroad 
system. There's Paris, there's Berlin, and there's Vienna. That's Budapest over there, think of 
that as a kind of second center. The only thing that comes close is Milan, but then you've got the 
Alps here, with a low density of railroads up there. 

So it's clear that a European infrastructure and railroad triangle, here, does comprehend the 
densest area of industrial and infrastructural development. At the same time, there were railroads 
being built out here into the Russian Empire; and in particular, we have to mention here, the great 
Count Sergei Witte, who grew up as an employee of the Russian imperial railway system. He 
worked first of all in the railway ministry, became transportation minister, later finance minister. 
And what he promoted, was the building of this Trans-Siberian railway, the greatest 
infrastructural project of the 19th century, greater even than Lincoln's transcontinental railroad, 
and as you see it goes all the way from St. Petersburg up here, all the way across Central Asia; the 
original form of it went across Manchuria to Harbin and then to Vladivostock; later on, a second 
line was added up here, to avoid Chinese territory. It linked up to the Chinese railway system-for 
example, from Harbin to Beijing and to these other areas here, Darien, Port Arthur, and so forth. 

There is also a Russian system, as you see, just to follow this a little bit, there's a second railway 
system which is called the Transcaspian, which gets right down to the base of the Caspian Sea, 
comes right across to Iran, and-look-here's British imperialism in India, coming up against the 
Russian Empire, with just this little Afghani buffer state in between. 

So look at this tremendous ability of Witte's project to reach out and create an actual Eurasian 
railroad bloc. As was mentioned before, Witte's strategic concept was that France, Germany, 
Russia should not fight each other. They should make an alliance against Britain in particular. 
That would have spared them all of the carnage of World War I, and it would have robbed the 
British of their geopolitical strategy. The British geopolitical strategy, of course, was to dominate 
the United States, dominate Japan if they could, and then go into the so-called heartland, and play 
the forces of the heartland against each other, play France against Germany, Germany against 



Russia, and so on down the line. Witte's strategic concept would have made World War I 
impossible. 

And here's the other great railroad project. This is now the Berlin to Baghdad Railway. You only 
see the Asia Minor part of it here, the Balkan and Asia Minor parts, but suffice it to say that this 
started in Berlin, came down here through the Hapsburg dominions, across the Bosporus on 
barges; went through Anatolia, through what is today Syria, and then into Mesopotamia, Iraq, 
reached Baghdad, reached Kirkuk, Mosul, Basra, and finally Kuwait. And this was going to be 
built between about 1900 and 1915. It was never completed; this would have provided an 
alternate route to India; it would have challenged the British domination of their empire lifeline; 
this was primarily the idea of Georg von Siemens of the German industrial family but it was 
pursued also as a goal of German foreign policy. And if you put together the two maps that I've 
just shown you, the Trans-Siberian Railway and this Berlin to Baghdad railway, this would have 
made Berlin the rail hub of the universe, with the ability to call on an entire Eurasian hinterland, 
and of course this the British were determined to avoid at all costs. 

Now some people may ask: If the British decided in 1870 or thereabouts, if Disraeli, Gladstone, 
Lord John Russell, Queen Victoria, and a few other people sat down at the table and said, "Well, 
let's have World War I," and they did that in 1870, and that's about what they did, why did it take 
so long for World War I to come about? 

I would simply point to a couple of questions of Bismarck's foreign policy. The guy who 
superintended the creation of united Germany was, of course, Bismarck. He's a mixed figure: part 
monster, part realpolitiker. Bismarck as a realpolitiker, was a great realist. He knew that there 
could be no general war in Europe, as long as Germany and Russia maintained good relations. 
This picture you see up here is the alliance system created by Bismarck. And you can see the 
result of it is, that Germany has plenty of allies; France has none; France cannot start any 
wars-these pro-British governments in Paris-and the British are forced to stay off the continent of 
Europe pretty much. And in particular I would stress the good relations between Berlin and St. 
Petersburg, between Germany and Russia, first under the so-called alliance of the Three 
Emperors-Dreikaiserbund-and then the so-called Reinsurance Treaty. 

So from 1870 to 1890 or thereabouts, this is what Europe looked like. 

The bottom part shows what happened when Bismarck was forced out of the scene and the 
lunatic Emperor William II (this is Kaiser Wilhelm, this is the guy you remember from the World 
War I period, when he came in). Kaiser Wilhelm did not understand, he rejected the importance of 
an alliance with Russia. This allowed France to make an alliance with Russia in 1894 and very 
soon after that, the British were brought into this, and you have the Triple Entente of Russia, 
England and France, all directed against Germany; Germany is left with only one real ally, the 
Austro -Hungarian Empire, this was not a good ally, with allies like this you don't really need 
enemies, and the way for World War I was actually clear. 

The other thing to stress about this is the colonial rivalry in Africa. Lyn has talked about the 
Fashoda incident of 1898, there it is. The British wanted to unite a strip of territory from Cairo all 



the way down to the Cape. This was the way the British wanted to put Africa together. There 
were some French imperialists who said no, we're going to start over here in Dakar, and go to 
Djibouti; and these two groups clashed in Fashoda and the mentality that won out on the French 
side under Theophile Delcasse was the idea, that if you wanted to have an empire, you've got to 
do it with the British because you're not strong enough to do it against them, therefore, make a 
deal with British imperialism, that's the key to the Entente Cordiale of 1904. 

With that, everything is ready for World War I. Here you see Europe as it was in July and August 
of 1914. The Russian Empire, the Ottoman Empire here; the Austro -Hungarian Empire, and, as 
you see, a very large Germany. 

The British had played this Eastern Question card, the Eastern Question meant their desire to 
destabilize the Ottoman, Russian, and Austro -Hungarian Empires. 

The thing that we have to stress about the way the war was conducted, is that the United States 
fought on the wrong side. That's one of the key turning points in which the twentieth century 
went wrong. It was wrong for France to ally with the British against Germany; but it was doubly 
wrong for the United States to go into World War I on the side of the British. The catastrophes of 
this century would have been avoided to a very large degree if, for example, the United States had 
gone in on the side of Germany. That would have made all the difference. That would have 
created a much better world than the one that we're confronted with today. 

And here's the fighting. You see these fighting fronts? There's a western front over here, there's a 
tremendous eastern front, an Italian front, there's a Balkan front, there's a Russian- Turkish front 
out here, and look: even out here, there was a Kuwait front. Norman Schwarzkopf, where are 
you? This was done by the British. They tried to get to Baghdad-they didn't get there either. 

And, of course, the reality of World War I is that this is the greatest single tragedy, the greatest 
single hecatomb of western civilization. Nine million dead. These are French troops getting out of 
their trucks. They're going to go fight the battle of Verdun, where, over a period of 6 or 8 
months, several million men were killed. 

It's about 9 million killed outright, 20 million wounded, and if you add in the Spanish flu and a 
few other things, you get up into the area of about 25 million to thirty million dead as a result of 
World War I. And the majority of that, was Germany and France, the two most developed 
countries of western Europe. 

Here is now the Europe that emerged after the Peace of Paris, so this is now Versailles, we're 
now in the midst of Versailles, bringing World War I to an end. You can see the changes that 
have been made, a very large Poland up here, a rather large Czechoslovakia, a large Rumania, a 
fairly large Hungary. Notice also that Yugoslavia has been created-probably the most typical 
territorial change of Versailles, this Peace of Paris of 1919, is the existence of Yugoslavia. 

You can also see the creation of Finland and Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, up here in the Baltics. 



This territorial system that came out of this, was vastly unpopular. Nobody was really satisfied 
with all of this. It awakened desires on the part of various groups, nobody liked it, it was fought in 
particular by Ataturk in Turkey, there was a mass movement in China against the idea that the 
German colonial possession were transferred to the Japanese under this same treaty. In Italy, there 
was so much discontent that this led to the rise of fascism, similarly in Germany, and so on down 
the line. 

Here's Germany as it came out of World War I. Notice the areas that were taken away; and now, 
of course, the Oder-Neisse line over here is the border of Germany. 

I would stress in the Versailles system: the way in which the Ottoman Empire was partitioned in 
1919. This was all the Ottoman Empire. Everything that you think of as being the Middle 
East-including Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia; all of these were 
created at the Peace of Paris-in particular the Treaty of Sevres. Israel took a little bit longer to 
create, but basically the mandate of Palestine under the British is what then later became Israel. 
Also notice Serbia up here. 

Hungary, Austria: this empire ceased to exist. Austrians, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Italians, 
Slovenians, Croatians, and others, departed this empire, and, of course, I have to apologize for 
this map, this is a U.S., sort of pro-Woodrow Wilson map, because it lists "Yugoslavs" as Serbs, 
Croatians, and Slovenes, and, of course, that's precisely what Yugoslavia was all about. This did 
not have anything to do with the wishes of those involved. This was a reward to Serbia by the 
British and their friend, Woodrow Wilson. 

And Russia: the Russian Empire was dismembered. Here we see Finland taken off, the Baltic 
States taken off, Bessarabia, today Moldova taken off; areas in the Transcaucasus taken off. The 
Russian Empire has already been through one dismemberment in the 20th century. It's now going 
through the second dismemberment. And we must warn, that unless economic dirigistic policies 
are introduced in these new states, to make them viable, to make them prosperous, to make them 
stable, then, as Helga was saying earlier, there is every danger, that those states will then be 
re-engulfed by a Russian Empire within about 15 or 20 years, or even less. In this case, it took 
about 15 or 20 years, for the Russian Empire to make its comeback under Stalin. 

The other thing about Versailles that I would like to stress very much, is the financial 
arrangements, because here we can really see the degree to which today's world is an extension of 
the Versailles System. 

Germany, under the Treaty of Versailles, was required to pay $32 billion of reparations. It was 
said that the Germans bore the war guilt; that they were responsible for World War I. Big lie! But 
the reason for the big lie, was that they had to pay $32 billion-it's hard to calculate that in today's 
terms. Those were gold dollars, those were real dollars, maybe $32 trillion is some idea of what 
that would have meant today, and because of the 5 percent interest rates, this was going to be 
paid over about 60-70 years. By one calculation, the Germans would have wound up their 
payments about 1990. They would have just finished paying for World War I two years ago. 



This was going to go up to about $100 billion because of the accrued interest over the period. So 
let's say, $100 trillion of reparations. 

The French had borrowed $25 billion during the war, and the British and the French had 
borrowed about $10 billion from the United States. So here's the merry-go-round. Germany, of 
course, was not allowed to export. They were kept blockaded for a long time. They had to pay 
these reparations to the British and the French. Notice that the French had to also pay the British. 
The French and the British then paid the United States, and the Wall Street bankers, under the 
Dawes Plan and the Young Plan, then refinanced the Germans, so that they could keep paying. 
And that is a system of usury and destruction. It, of course, meant that the heart of Europe would 
be economically depressed; that Germany would be depressed, economically, that there would be 
no development of the Third World as a result of European capital goods being sent out. It 
virtually guaranteed fascism and bolshevism advancing against the middle class societies; and it 
had within it the seeds of World War II. In other words, what Lord Keynes said about this, that it 
would require economic slavery in Germany, was absolutely accurate. It was a way of squeezing 
Germany until you could hear the pips squeak, as Keynes said. 

So let's just summarize what we've gone through on this Versailles System. 

What we've done here, is to compare the Versailles arrangements of 1919 with the Yalta 
arrangements of 1945, which have now collapsed. The Versailles System had a League of 
Nations. Who was in the Security Council? The U.S., Britain, France, Italy, and Japan. Those 
were the Big Five. The U.S. didn't even join it, but the British wanted to run the world that way, 
as a condominium. And, of course, under the U.N., we've got the Security Council. 

Under Versailles, you have the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. It's still 
there. This is widely considered today to be more powerful than the IMF and the World Bank and 
the other institutions that were then put up under the Yalta system after the Second World War. 
We've mentioned this $32 billion in reparations, the $10 billion in war debts, the immense internal 
debts of all these countries. After the Second World War this was the demontage of German 
industry, simply taking it out, primarily by the Russians, but above all, the conditionalities of the 
IMF as they have been imposed on the former colonial sector. 

Continuing this comparison. Under Versailles you had a war guilt clause saying that Germany was 
responsible for World War I, and under Yalta, the same thing. Collective guilt. Every German is 
responsible for everything that Hitler did. Typical on the geographic changes that I've just 
mentioned, Yugoslavia is a very typical one. Under Yalta, it's the Germanies not simply cut down, 
but even divided. 

And then, look at the Middle East as one example of what this meant for the Third World. Under 
the League of Nations there were these mandates. The British got the mandate of Palestine. That 
then became Israel. The British Foreign Office with the Balfour Declaration announced that it was 
going to create the state of Israel. This was then included in the secret British-French Sykes-Picot 
accords, and finally the Treaty of Sevres, which was the treaty with the Ottoman Empire. 



What does that lead to? To your typical Yalta arrangement of endless wars of Israel against the 
Arab states. All these Middle East wars, 1948, 1956, 67, 69, 73, the Iran-Iraq War of '80, and 
finally the Gulf War of 1991 . 

That brings us pretty much up to the present time. 

I haven't been able, for reasons of time, to go into certain postwar events that are better known. 
A couple of things to say in conclusion. 

What is the purpose of all this? Why did the British insist on this? The British insist on a world 
system or a form of organized chaos, which is what you see here, based on an irrational principle 
of arbitrary power. Oligarchy. The idea that the British royal family, the British house of Lords, 
the British aristocracy and oligarchy, have the God-given right to rule. The Anglo-Saxon master 
race. And they can inflict suffering on the entire rest of the world in the name of this lunatic, 
imbecilic principle of their power. Therefore, the purpose of this entire system, is to crush 
humanity. Sure, you can say, it's really directed against Germany to keep the Germans down, to 
keep them divided. To keep the Germans and the Russians at each other's throats; to keep the 
French and the Germans at each other's throats. It also implies that the United States is subjected 
to colonial rule, which you see. 

So all of these great nations are humiliated, each in its own way, by this Versailles System. But 
the purpose of it ultimately is to crush the entire human race, because one of the effects of this 
entire system, is the poverty and economic backwardness of the developing sector today, which is 
directly due to these Versailles and Yalta arrangements. 

We also have to ask ourselves: What is the center of evil in the world? Well, for a while there was 
Hitler and the Nazis. This was certainly very evil; Mussolini and the fascists. The Bolshevik Party 
has gone out of existence-Stalin's party, Lenin's party is really no longer there, it could be 
reconstituted, I suppose. Mao and his heirs in China are still in power, but it looks like their future 
is going to be a limited one. So ultimately, you have to ask yourself: What is the problem of evil in 
the 20th century in particular, because it has turned out not to be fundamentally, in the last 
analysis, any of those, but rather, the British oligarchy. British geopolitical thinking. The idea of 
dividing the world along these lines, and creating a series of endless wars. 

We also have to recall, as we saw back in the 1850s, that when the British seemed to be on the 
verge of taking everything, that is the moment when the intrinsic weaknesses of their system, pop 
out. As Lyn said the other day, this is an Anglo-American system that destroys its enemies, to be 
sure, but it destroys its sponsors and its owners with an even greater certitude. It's a system that 
literally devours its own flesh-as you see today, when it looks like the Anglo-Americans are ready 
to take over the entire world, but at the same time they're collapsing internally so fast, that it is 
clear that they will not be able to impose any permanent world order of any type. 

And I think finally, what it means for us, is that this is a tremendous opportunity, because there is 
now a complete political and strategic vacuum and economic vacuum, all around the world. There 
is a vacuum of ideas; there's a vacuum of strategy, a political vacuum-look at the Democratic 



candidates for president, five-pack, the dwarves, and you can see that that is a vacuum of 
personalities, policies, and ideas. And Lyn has always stressed, that this is now the time to 
advance to fill that vacuum with the kind of solutions which his candidacy, and our organizations 
uniquely represent. 

I am, for my own part, convinced, that there will be breakthroughs for Lyn's presidential 
candidacy during the course of this long season, the primary season from now until June; the 
presidential season that goes all the way to November. There will be breakthroughs. When and 
how, I do not know. But we must take advantage of the fact, that the systems that have 
controlled the world in a certain manner of speaking, for the past 70-80-90 years, that these are 
now collapsing in front of our eyes, creating tremendous political opportunities. 

Lyn has also stressed, that you cannot engage in politics today, unless you have this kind of a 
scope-unless you go back to the Congress of Vienna, 1848, the British drive toward the single 
empire, and then that convergence of Lincoln, Alexander II, and united Germany that gave the 
British such a scare that they started World War I and created the Versailles System. 

The Versailles Treaty: The War Guilt Clause 

Printed in the American Almanac, March, 1995 

The entire international public order of the post-1919 era, including the League of Nations and, by 
extension, the United Nations, has been based on the absurd lie that Germany was solely 
responsible for the outbreak of World War I. This finding was officially reported to the Paris 
Peace Conference at the close of the war by a "Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors 
of the War," which was chaired by American Secretary of State Robert Lansing. Lansing refused 
to allow any Germans to take part in his deliberations, and the commission ignored a new 
"German White Book" compiled in 1919 by Hans Delbruck, Professor Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, 
Count Montgelas, and Max Weber, which contained enough evidence to show that the thesis of 
exclusive German war guilt was untenable. The kernel of Lansing's conclusions was as follows: 

"The War was premeditated by the Central Powers together with their allies, Turkey and 
Bulgaria, and was the result of acts deliberately committed in order to make it unavoidable. 
Germany, in agreement with Austria-Hungary, deliberately worked to defeat all the many 
conciliatory proposals made by the Entente Powers." 

This false verdict was then incorporated into the infamous Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles, 
which alleges: 

"The Allied and Associated Governments affirm, and Germany accepts, the responsibility of 
Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated 
Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon 
them by the aggression of Germany and her allies." 

The German delegates were coerced into signing the Versailles Treaty by threats of renewed war 



and by the economic blockade still imposed on Germany after the armistice by the fleets of the 
Entente. The thesis of exclusive German war guilt was required by the Entente as a premise for 
the Carthaginian peace imposed on the Central Powers, which included the demand for more than 
$32 billion in war reparations, especially to France, plus interest for servicing this debt over 
decades into the future. 

In the years after the war, documentary evidence was published which further undermined the Big 
Lie of Versailles. This included Karl Kautsky's Outbreak of the World War, (New York, 1924), 
the Soviet Materials for the History of Franco-Russian Relations from 1910 to 1914, (Moscow, 
1922), the Austrian Red Book of 1919, and the diary of Baron Schilling of the Russian Foreign 
Ministry (London, 1925). 

The false verdict of Versailles had already become a scandal in America during the 1920s, when 
historians like H.E. Barnes demanded the revision of the war guilt clause. Typical is this 
conclusion from the academic historian Sidney B. Fay of Harvard in 1930: 

"The verdict of the Versailles Treaty that Germany and her allies were responsible for the War, 
in view of the evidence now available, is historically unsound. It should therefore be revised. 
However, because of the popular feeling widespread in some of the Entente countries, it is 
doubtful whether a formal and legal revision is as yet practicable. There must first come a further 
revision by historical scholars, and through them of public opinion." 

Now, after fascism, a second world conflict, the Cold War, and the fall of the communist regimes 
in Europe, the time has come to reopen the Versailles Treaty. The treaty must be revised to 
specify the war guilt of an international conspiracy masterminded first by King Edward VII of 
England, and after him by Sir Edward Grey, in which figures like Izvolski, Sazonov, and 
Clemenceau were participants. The center of war guilt must be fixed in London. 

British Financial Warfare: 1929; 1931-33; How The City Of London Created The Great 
Depression 

The thesis of this paper is that the great economic and financial cataclysm of the first half of the 
twentieth century, which we have come to know as the Great Depression, was caused by the 
Bank of England, the British government, and the City of London. The potential for the Great 
Depression derived from the economic and human destruction wrought by World War I, which 
was itself a product of British geopolitics and especially of the British policy, exemplified by King 
Edward VII, of creating an encircling anti-German alliance in order to wage war. The economic 
destruction of Europe was continued after 1918 by the Peace of Paris (Versailles, St. Germain, 
Trianon, Neuilly, Sevres) imposed by the Allies on the defeated Central Powers. Especially 
important here were the 55 billion gold dollars in reparations inflicted on defeated Germany, along 
with the war debt burden of the supposedly victorious powers themselves. Never during the 
1920?s did world trade surpass the levels of 1913. Reparations and war debt were a recipe for 
economic stagnation. 

The ravaged post-war, post- Versailles world of the 1920?s provides the main backdrop for the 



following considerations: 



1 . The events leading to the Great Depression are all related to British economic warfare against 
the rest of the world, which mainly took the form of the attempt to restore a London- centered 
world monetary system incorporating the gold standard. The efforts of the British oligarchy in this 
regard were carried out by a clique of international central bankers dominated by Lord Montagu 
Norman of the Bank of England, assisted by his tools Benjamin Strong of the New York Federal 
Reserve Bank and Hjalmar Schacht of the German Reichsbank. This British-controlled gold 
standard proved to be a straightjacket for world economic development, somewhat along the lines 
of the deflationary Maastricht "convergence criteria" of the late 1990?s. 

2. The New York stock exchange speculation of the Coolidge-Hoover era was not a 
spontaneous phenomenon, but was rather deliberately encouraged by Norman and Strong under 
the pretext of relieving pressure on the overvalued British pound sterling after its gold 
convertibility had been restored in 1925. In practice, the pro-speculation policies of the US 
Federal Reserve were promoted by Montagu Norman and his satellites for the express purpose of 
fomenting a Bubble Economy in the United States, just as later central bankers fostered a Bubble 
Economy in Japan after 1986. When this Wall Street Bubble had reached gargantuan proportions 
in the autumn of 1929, Montagu Norman sharply cut the British bank rate, repatriating British hot 
money, and pulling the rug out from under the Wall Street speculators, thus deliberately and 
consciously imploding the US markets. This caused a violent depression in the United States and 
some other countries, with the collapse of financial markets and the contraction of production and 
employment. In 1929, Norman engineered a collapse by puncturing the bubble. 

3. This depression was rendered far more severe and, most importantly, permanent, by the 
British default on gold payment in September, 1931. This British default, including all details of 
its timing and modalities, and also the subsequent British gambit of competitive devaluations, 
were deliberate measures of economic warfare on the part of the Bank of England. British actions 
amounted to the deliberate destruction of the pound sterling system, which was the only world 
monetary system in existence at that time. The collapse of world trade became irreversible. With 
deliberate prompting from the British, currency blocs emerged, with the clear implication that 
currency blocs like the German Reichsmark and the Japanese yen would soon have to go to war 
to obtain the oil and other natural resources that orderly world trade could no longer provide. In 
1931, Norman engineered a disintegration by detonating the gold backing of the pound sterling. 

4. In the United States, the deliberate British default of September 1931 led, given the 
do-nothing Hoover Administration policies, directly to the banking crisis of 1932-33, which 
closed down or severely restricted virtually every bank in the country by the morning of Franklin 
D. Roosevelt's inauguration. If Roosevelt had not broken decisively with Hoover's impotent 
refusal to fight the depression, constitutional government might have collapsed. As it was, FDR 
was able to roll back the disintegration, but economic depression and mass unemployment were 
not overcome until 1940 and the passage of Lend-Lease. 

As we have already hinted, we consider that these matters are not solely of historical interest. The 
repertoire of central bank intrigue, speculative bubbles, defaults, devaluations, bank rate 
manipulations, deflations and inflations constitute the essential arsenal being used by British 
economic warfare planners today. 



The Maastricht "convergence criteria" with their insane deflationary thrust are very similar in 
effect to the rules of the gold exchange standard as administered by London, 1925-1931. For that 
matter, the policies of the International Monetary Fund are too. The parallel extends even to the 
detail of Perfidious Albion's gambit of opting out of the European Currency Union while 
watching its victims writhe in an deflationary straightjacket tailored between Threadneedle Street 
and Saville Row. 

Since the summer of 1995 hot money generated by the low interest rates of the Bank of Japan has 
been used by hedge fund operators of the Soros school to puff up the world bubble. If the Bank of 
England's late 1996 switch to bank rate increases turns out to be a harbinger of world tight 
money, then it is possible that the collapse and disintegration of the world financial system will 
recapitulate other phases of the interwar years. 

Lord Montagu Norman was always obsessed with secrecy, but the British financial press has often 
practiced an arrogant and cynical bluntness in its self-congratulatory accounts of its own exploits. 
Therefore, wherever possible we have let the British, especially the London Economist magazine 
and Lord Keynes, speak for themselves and indict themselves. We have also drawn on the 
memoirs of US President Herbert Hoover, who had moments of suprising lucidity even as he, for 
the sake of absurd free-market, laissez-faire ideology, allowed his country to drift into the abyss. 
As we will see, Hoover had everything he needed to base his 1932 campaign for re-election on 
blaming the Federal Reserve, especially its New York branch, for the 1929 calamity. Hoover 
could have assailed the British for their September 1931 stab in the back. Hoover would have 
been doing the country a permanent service, and he might have done somewhat better in the 
electoral college. But Hoover was not capable of seriously attacking the New York Fed and its 
master, Lord Montagu Norman. 
ECONOMIC DECLINE AFTER WORLD WAR I 

The roots of the crash of 1929 are to be sought in the economic consequences of World War I, 
which was itself a product of the British geopolitical machinations of King Edward VII and his 
circles. The physical impact of World War I was absolutely devastating in terms of human losses 
and material damage. This destruction was then greatly magnified by the insistence of London and 
Paris on reparations to be paid by defeated and prostrate Germany. 

After a few years of haggling, these reparations were fixed at the astronomical sum of 32 billion 
gold-backed US dollars, to be paid over 62 years at an interest rate of 5%. Even Lord Keynes, in 
his "Economic Consequences of the Peace," compared this to the imposition of slavery on 
Germany and her defeated allies, or to squeezing a lemon until the pits squeak. 

The reparations issue was complicated by the inter-allied war debts, owed especially by France 
and Britain to the United States. For a time a system emerged in which Wall Street made loans to 
Germany so that Germany could pay reparations to France, which could then pay war debts to 
Britain and the US. But this system was based on usury, not production, and was therefore 
doomed. 

The most dramatic evidence available on economic stagnation during the 1920?s is the fact that 



during this decade world trade never attained the pre-war level of 1913. 
THE CABAL OF CENTRAL BANKERS 

A dominant personality of the City of London during these years was Sir Montagu Norman, the 
Governor of the Bank of England during the period 1920-1944. Norman came from a line of 
bankers. His grandfather was Sir Mark Wilks Collet, who had himself been Governor of the Bank 
of England during the 1880?s. Collet had also been a partner in the London firm of Brown, 
Shipley & Co., and also in the New York bank of Brown Brothers & Co., later Brown Brothers, 
Harriman, one of the most evil and most powerful banks in modern American history. The 
managing partner of Brown Brothers, Harriman during the 1930?s was Prescott Bush, father of 
President George Herbert Walker Bush, and a financial backer of Hitler. The dominant figure at 
Brown Brothers, Harriman was W. Averell Harriman, Roosevelt's special envoy to Churchill and 
Stalin, head of the Marshall Plan, and the adviser to President Truman who was most responsible 
for starting the Cold War with Russia and for prolonging the Korean War. 

Acting by himself and relying only on his own British resources, Montagu Norman could hardly 
have aspired to play the role of currency dictator of Europe. Norman's trump card was his ability 
to manipulate the policies of the United States Federal Reserve System through a series of 
Morgan-linked puppets. 

Morgan's key puppet was Benjamin Strong of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, which then 
as now represented the flagship of the entire Fed system. Strong was Governor of the New York 
Federal Reserve Bank between 1914 and his death in 1929. Strong was an operative of the House 
of Morgan who had worked at Bankers Trust. In addition to what he could do himself, Strong 
had great influence over Andrew Mellon, who served as Secretary of the Treasury between 1921 
and 1929 under Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover. 

Montagu Norman also owned a large piece of Hjalmar Schacht, Governor of the German 
Reichsbank and later Finance Minister in governments in which Adolf Hitler was chancellor. 
Montagu Norman himself, along with King Edward VIII, Lady Astor and Sir Neville 
Chamberlain, was one of the strongest supporters of Hitler in the British aristocracy. Norman put 
his personal prestige on the line in September, 1933 to support the Hitler regime in its first 
attempt to float a loan in London. The Bank of England's consent was at that time indispensable 
for floating a foreign bond issue, and Norman made sure that the "Hitler bonds" were warmly 
recommended in the City. 

THE FEDERAL RESERVE: CAUSE OF DEPRESSION 

One of the main causes for the Great Depression was the Federal Reserve System of the United 
States. Many naive persons think of the Federal Reserve System as a part of the United States 
government, which it emphatically is not. Probably this is because the only money we have 
nowadays is marked "Federal Reserve Note." The Federal Reserve is a privately owned and 
privately managed institution. Those who can remember the 1960?s can recall that there were one 
dollar silver certificates as well as United States Notes, the descendants of Lincoln's greenbacks, 
in several denominations. But after the Kennedy assassination, the private Federal Reserve 
established a monopoly on printing American money, shutting out the US Federal Government 



from this important function. 



In this way the Federal Reserve System violates the letter and spirit of the United States 
Constitution. There, in Article I, Section 8, Clause 5 we read that the Congress shall have the 
power "to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of 
weights and measures." 

The Federal Reserve was created in December, 1913 when Woodrow Wilson signed the 
Glass-Owen Federal Reserve Act. That bill had been the product of cloak-and-dagger 
machinations by Wall Street financiers and their political mouthpieces, many of them in league 
with the City of London. Wall Streeter Frank A. Vanderlip, in his autobiography "From Farm Boy 
to Financier" narrates that the secret conference which planned the Federal Reserve was "as secret 
- indeed, as furtive - as any conspirator." Vanderlip was one of the insiders invited to the Jekyl 
Island Club on the coast of Georgia in the autumn of 1910 by the Senator Nelson Aldrich, the 
father-in-law of John D. Rockefeller Jr. Aldrich also invited Henry Davison of J.P. Morgan & Co., 
and Benjamin Strong, the future Governor of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Also on hand 
was Paul Warburg of the notorious international banking family, descended from the Del Banco 
family of Venice. As Vanderlip recounted, "We were instructed to come one at a time and as 
unobtrusively as possible to the railway terminal on the New Jersey littoral of the Hudson, where 
Senator Aldrich's private car would be in readiness, attached to the rear end of a train for the 
South." 

On Jekyl Island this crew began to decide the main features of the central bank of the United 
States: "We worked morning, noon, and night.... As we dealt with questions I recorded our 
agreements. . .If it was to be a central bank, how was it to be owned - by the banks, by the 
Government or jointly ? When we had fixed upon bank ownership and joint control, we took up 
the political problem of whether it should be a number of institutions or only one." In the end, 
says Vanderlip, "there can be no question about it: Aldrich undoubtedly laid the essential, 
fundamental lines which finally took the form of the Federal reserve law." 

Today each of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks - Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, 
and so forth - is a private corporation. The shares are held by the member banks of the Federal 
Reserve System. The Class A and Class B Directors of each Federal reserve Bank are elected by 
the shareholders from among bankers and the business community, and other Directors are 
appointed by the Federal Reserve Board in Washington. 

Members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington are chosen by 
the President and must be approved by the Senate, for what that is worth. But when we come to 
the vital Federal Reserve Open Market Committee, which sets short-term interest rates and 
influences the size of the money supply by buying or selling government securities, the picture is 
even worse. The FOMC comprises 7 Fed Governors from Washington plus 5 presidents of 
Federal Reserve Banks appointed by the respective Directors of these banks. In practice, 5 
Federal Reserve district presidents who have never been seen by the President or the Congress 
have a vote on setting the credit policy and money supply of the United States. Public policy is 
made by a private cabal of self-appointed plutocrats. 



How was this sleazy product marketed to the Congress ? Interestingly, the Congressmen were 
told that the Federal Reserve System would prevent panics and depressions like those of the 
1870?s and 1890?s. Here is a sampling compiled by Herbert Hoover of selling points used by 
lobbyists seeking votes for the Federal Reserve Act: 

We shall have no more financial panics. . . .Panics are impossible. . . .Business men can now proceed 
in effect confidence that they will no longer pu their property in peril. . . .Now the business man 
may work out his destony without living in terror of panic and hard times. . . .Panics in the future 
are unthinkable. . . .Never again can panic come to the American people. 
[The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover, p. 7] 

The verdict of history must be that the Federal Reserve has utterly failed to deliver on these 
promises. The most potent political argument against this arrangement is that it has been a 
resounding failure. Far from making financial crises impossible, the Fed has brought us one Great 
Depression, and it is about to bring us a super-depression, a worldwide disintegration. 

The Federal Open Market Committee was not part of the original legislation that created the 
Federal Reserve System. But in the early 1920?s, some regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents, 
inevitably dominated by New York, formed a committee outside of any law to coordinate their 
activities in determning the money supply and interest rates through buying and selling of 
government securities - i.e., open market operations. This was a very successful power grab by 
the regional Reserve Bank leaders, all directly chosen by bankers and the private sector, and not 
subject to approval by anyone in Washington. In 1935 Franklin D. Roosevelt very unwisely signed 
a Banking Act which legalized the Federal Open Market Committee in its present form, with a 
formal majority for Federal Reserve Board Governors in Washington, the ones proposed by the 
President and approved by the Senate. But at the same time the Secretary of the Treasury, who 
used to be a member of the central Board, was ousted from that position. 
THE BRITISH RECORD OF STARTING WALL STREET PANICS 

The British had a long track record of using the London Bank Rate (that is, the rediscount rate of 
the Bank of England) for financial and economic warfare against the United States. The periodic 
panics of the nineteenth century were more often than not caused by deliberate British sabotage. 
A few examples: 

* In the Panic of 1837, the stage had been set for depression by outgoing President Andrew 
Jackson's and Secretary of the Treasury Roger Taney's abolition of the Second Bank of the 
United States, by their cultivation of the state "pet" banks, by their imbecilic Specie Circular of 
1836, which demanded gold payment to the federal government for the purchase of public lands, 
and by their improvident distribution of the Treasury surplus to the states. London's ultinmate 
weapon turned out to be the Bank of England bank rate. With all the American defenses 
sabotaged, the Bank of England sharply raised its discount rates, sucking gold specie and hot 
money liquidity back across the Atlantic, while British merchants and trading houses cut off their 
lines of credit to their American customers. In the resulting chaos, not just private banks and 
businesses went bankrupt, but also the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, 
Indiana, and Michigan, which repudiated their debts, permanently impairing US credit in the 
world. Internal improvements came to a halt, and the drift towards secession and civil war became 



more pronounced. 

* The Panic of 1873 resuted from a British-directed effort to ruin the banking house of Jay 
Cooke and Company, which had served Lincoln and his successors as a quasi-governmental 
agency for the marketing of United States Treasury securities and railroad bonds during and after 
the Civil War. The Cooke insolvency had been preceded by a massive dumping of US staocks and 
bonds in London and the rest of Europe. This was London's way of shutting down the Civil War 
boom that Lincoln's dirigist and protectionist policies had made possible. Instead, a long US 
depression followed. 

* The Panic of 1893 was prepared by the 1890 "Baring panic" in London, caused by the 
insolvency of Barings Bank, the same one which went bankrupt and was sold off in the spring of 
1995. In the resulting depression, the US Treasury surplus was reduced to almost nothing, and a 
budget defecit loomed. Using this situation as a pretext, British speculators drove the exchange 
rate of the dollar down to the point where owners of gold began exporting their gold to London. 
Treasury gold stocks dipped below $100,000,000, and then kept falling to $68,000,000; US 
national bankruptcy threatened. In response to this crisis, subversive President Grover Cleveland 
gave control of the US public debt to the New York banking houses of Morgan and Belmont, 
themselves British agents of influence. Cleveland "sold out to Wall Street" by selling US gold 
bonds to Morgan and Belmont at reduced prices, with the taxpayers picking up the tab; Morgan 
and Belmont promised to "use their influence" in London to prevent further British bear raids 
against the US dollar and gold stocks. All of this caused another long depression. 

The economics profession is totally bankrupt today, with every Nobel Prize winner in economics 
with the sole exception of Maurice Allais qualifying for committment to a psychiatric institution. 
One of the reasons for the depravity of the economists is that their assigned task has always been 
one of mystification, especially the job of covering up the simple and brutal fact that American 
depressions have generally been caused by Bank of England and City of London bankers. All the 
mystical mumbo-jumbo of curves, cycles, and epicycles a la Schumpeter has always had the 
purpose of camouflaging the fact that the Bank of England bank rate was the nineteenth century's 
closest equivalent to the hydrogen bomb. 
DEFLATION CRISIS OF 1920-21 

The New York panic of 1920-21 represents yet another example of British economic warfare. 
The illusion that the existence of the Federal Reserve System might serve as a barrier against new 
financial panics and depressions received a nasty knock with the immediate postwar depression of 
1920, which was a co-production of the Bank of England and the New York Federal Reserve. 
The British deliberately provoked this Wall Street panic and severe depression during a period of 
grave military tension between London and Washington occasioned by the naval rivalry of the US 
and UK. The British Bank Rate had been at 6% from November 1919 until April 15, 1920, when 
it was raised to 7%. The bust in Wall Street began in the late summer of 1920. The UK Bank Rate 
was lowered to 6.5% in April 1922, and it went down all the way to 3% by July, 1922. 

The Federal Reserve, as usual, followed London's lead, gradually escalating the discount rate to 
7% in June, 1920 to detonate the bust, and descending to 6.5% about a year later. The argument 
used by the central bankers' cabal to justify their extreme tight money policy was the climate of 
postwar inflation, speculation, expansion and the freeing of consumer demand that had been pent 



up in wartime. This depression lasted about two years and was quite sharp, with a New York 
composite index of transaction indices falling 13.7% for the sharpest contraction since 1879. In 
many other countries this was the fiercest depression on record. As Keynes later complained, the 
US recovered much more rapidly than the British, who scarcely recovered at all. For the rest of 
the interwar period, the United Kingdom was beset by permanent depression. 

The fact that this depression was brought on deliberately by the Norman-Strong duo is amply 
documented in their private correspondence. In December 1920, Strong and Norman agreed that 
"the policy of making money dearer had been successful, though it would have been better six 
months earlier. They agreed, too, that deflation must be gradual; it was becoming now too rapid 
and they favored a small reduction in rates both in London and New York." [Clay, Lord Norman, 
p. 132] 

THE CRASH OF 1929 

The panic of 1929 is a prime example of a financial collapse which was not prevented by the 
Federal Reserve. In fact, the 1920?s speculative bubble and subsequent crash of 1929 was 
directly caused by Federal Reserve policies. Those policies in turn had been dictated by the world 
of British finance, which had been decisive in shaping the Federal Reserve to begin with. 

During World War I, all the industrialized nations except the United States had left the gold 
standard. Only the United States had been able to stay with gold, albeit with special controls. 
During the 1920?s about two thirds of the world's supply of monetary gold, apart from Soviet 
holdings, was concentrated in two countries - the United States and France. The British, who 
were fighting to preserve their dominance of the world financial system, had very little gold. 

The British were determined to pursue their traditional economic imperialism, but they had 
emerged from the war economically devastated and, for the first time, a debtor nation owing war 
debts to the United States. At the same time, the British were fighting to keep their precious 
world naval supremacy, which was threatened by the growth of the United States Navy. If the US 
had merely built the ships that were called for in laws passed in 1916, the slogan of "Brittania 
Rules the Waves" would have gone into the dust- bin of history early in the 1920?s. 

The pre-war gold parity had given a dollar to pound relation of $4.86 per pound sterling. As an 
avid imperialist Montagu Norman was insisting by the mid-1920?s that the pound return to the 
gold standard at the pre-war rate. A high pound was a disaster for British exports, but gave the 
British great advantages when it came to buying American and other foreign real estate, stocks, 
minerals, food, and all other external commodities. A high pound also maximized British earnings 
on insurance, shipping, and financial services — London's so-called "invisible exports" and 
earnings. 

LORD NORMAN'S GOLD EXCHANGE STANDARD, 1925-1931 

The nineteenth century gold standard had always been an instrument of British world domination. 
The best economic growth achieved by the United States during the century had been registered 
between 1861 and the implementation of the Specie Resumption Act in 1879. During that time 
the United States enjoyed the advantage of its own nationally controlled currency, Lincoln's 



greenbacks. Specie resumption meant re-opening the Treasury window where holders of paper 
dollars could have these dollars exchanged for gold coins. The United States in 1879 thus 
returned to a gold coin standard, under which paper money circulated side by side with $20 and 
$50 gold pieces. This practice proved to be deflationary and detrimental to economic 
development, while it increased American vulnerability to British currency manipulations. 

The post-1918 gold standard de-emphasized the circulation of gold coins, although this still went 
on. It was rather a gold exchange standard, under which smaller countries who chose the gold 
standard could hold some of their reserves in the leading gold-backed currencies like the pound 
sterling or the dollar. These currencies were counted as theoretically as good as gold. The 
advantage to the smaller countries was that they could keep their reserves on deposit in London 
and earn interest according to the British bank rate. As one London commentator noted at the 
time, ". . .many countries returning to gold "have had such confidence in the stability of the 
system, and in particular in the security of the dollar and of sterling, that they have been content to 
leave part of the reserves of their currencies in London." [Economist, September 26, 1931, p. 
549] 

The post-1918 gold exchange standard included the workings of the so-called gold points. This 
had to do with the relation of currency quotations to the established gold parity. Norman wanted 
the pound sterling to be worth $4.86. If the pound strengthened so as to trade for $5, let us say, 
then the pound was said to have exceeded the gold import point. American and other gold would 
be shipped to London by those who owned gold. That gold would be deposited in London and 
would earn interest there. If, as later happened, the pound went down to 4 dollars to the pound, 
then the pound was said to have passed the gold export point, and British gold would be 
physically shipped to New York to take advantage of the superior earnings there. This meant that 
if Norman wanted to keep a strong pound, he needed to weaken the dollar at the same time, since 
with a strong dollar the British gold would flee from London, forcing Norman to devalue the 
pound sterling, lowering its the gold parity. Notice that gold movements were to a very large 
degree based on the decisions of individual banks and investors. 

(During the later 1930?s, after the a period in which the dollar floated downward in terms of gold, 
the United States under Franklin D. Roosevelt established a gold reserve standard, also called by 
FDR's critics a "qualified external bullion standard," in which gold transactions were limited to 
settlements with foreign central banks, while private citizens were barred from holding gold. This 
was similar to the gold reserve provisions of the Bretton Woods system of 1944-1971.) 

Norman's problem was that his return to the pre-1914 pound rate was much too high for the 
ravaged post-1918 British economy to support. Both the US and the British had undergone an 
economic downturn in the early 1920?s, but while the US soon bounced back, the British were 
never able to recover. British manufactures were now considered low-quality and obsolete. 
THE GOLDEN CHANCELLOR 

Nevertheless, Norman insisted on a gold pound at $4.86. He had to convince Winston Churchill, 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Norman whispered into Churchill's ear: "I will make you the 
golden chancellor." Great Britain and the rest of the Empire returned to the gold standard in 



April, 1925. Norman himself craved the title of "currency dictator of Europe." And indeed, many 
of the continental central banks were in his pocket. 

It was much easier to return to the gold standard than it was to stay there. British industrial 
exports, including coal, were priced out of the world market, and unemployment rose to 1.2 
million, the highest since Britain had become an industrial country. Emile Moreau, the governor of 
the Bank of France, commented that Norman's gold standard had "provoked unemployment 
without precedent in world history." British coal miners were especially hard hit, and when the 
mine owners announced wage reductions, Britain experienced the 1926 general strike, which was 
defeated with Winston Churchill as chief scab and strike-breaker. 

But Norman did not care. He was a supporter of the post- industrial society based on the service 
sector, especially financial services. The high pound meant that British oligarchs could buy up the 
world's assets at bargain basement prices. They could buy US and European real estate, banks, 
and firms. Norman's goal was British financial supremacy: 

". . .his sights remained stubbornly fixed on the main target: that of restoring the City to its 
coveted place at the heart of the financial and banking universe. Here was the best and most direct 
means, as he saw it, of earning as much for Britain in a year as could be earned in a decade by 
plaintive indsutrialists who refused to move with the times. The City could do more for the 
country by concentrating on the harvest of invisible exports to be reaped from banking, shipping, 
and insurance than could all the backward industrialists combined." 
[Boyle, 222] 

Montagu Norman's golden pound would have been unthinkable without the puppet role of 
Benjamin Strong of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Since the pound was grotesquely 
overvalued, the British were running a balance of payments defecit because of their excess of 
imports over exports. That meant that Norman had to ship gold from the Bank of England in 
Threadneedle Street across the Atlantic. The British gold started to flow towards New York, 
where most of the world's gold already was. 

The only way to stop the flow of gold from London to New York, Norman reasoned, was to get 
the United States to launch a policy of easy money, low interest rates, reflation, and a weak dollar 
- in short, a policy of inflation. The key to obtaining this was Benjamin Strong, who dominated 
the New York Fed, and was in a position to dominate the entire Federal Reserve system which 
was, of course, independent of the "political control" of the US government which these oligarchs 
so much resented. 

In essense, Norman's demand was that the US should launch a bubble economy. The 
newly-generated credit could be used for American loans to Germany or Latin America. Or, it 
could be used to leverage speculative purchases of stocks. Very soon most of the new credit was 
flowing into broker call loans for margin buying of stocks. This meant that by advancing a small 
percentage of the stock price, speculators could borrow money to buy stocks, leaving the stocks 
with the broker as collateral for the loans. There are many parellels between the measures urged 
for the US by Norman in 1925 and the policies urged on Japan by London and Wall Street in 
1986, leading to the Japanese bubble and their current banking crisis. 



In 1925, as the pound was returning to gold, Montagu Norman, Hjalmar Schacht and Charles 
Rist, the deputy governor of the Banque de France visited Benjamin Strong in New York to 
mobilize his network of influential insiders for easy money and low interest rates in the US. 
Strong was able to obtain the policies requested by Norman and his European puppets. Norman & 
Co. made a second pilgrimage to Wall Street between 28 June and 1 July 1927 to promote 
American speculation and inflation. On this second lobbying trip, Norman exhibited grave concern 
because the first half of 1927 had witnessed a large movement of gold into New York. Strong and 
his cabal immediately went into action. 

The second coming of Norman and Schacht in 1927 motivated Strong to force through new 
reflation of the money supply in July and a further cut in the US discount rate in August of that 
same year. The rediscount rate of the New York Fed was cut from 4% to 3.5%. This was the 
credit which stoked the culminating phase of the Coolidge Bull Market during 1928 and 1929. 
Strong also got the FOMC to begin buying US Treasury securities in open market operations, 
leaving the banks flush with cash. This cash soon wandered into the broker call loan market, 
where it was borrowed by stock speculators to buy stock on margin, fueling a growing stock 
speculation. Interest rates in London were supposed, according to Norman, to be kept above 
those in New York - although Norman later deviated from this when it suited him. 

In his essay "The Economic Consequences of Mr. Churchill," Lord Keynes noted that the British 
had returned to gold at a rate that was at least 10% too high; Keynes showed that the British 
government had also chosen a policy of deliberately increasing unemployment, especially in the 
export industries in order to drive down wages. In order to stem the flow of gold out of London, 
Keynes observed, the Bank of England's policy was to "encourage the United States to lend us 
money by maintaining the unprecedented situation of a bill rate 1 per cent higher in London than 
in New York." [Essays in Persuasion, p. 254] 

One alarmed observer of these events was, ironically, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover of 
the Coolidge administration, who condemned the Fed policies as "direct inflation." "In November, 
1925," recounts Hoover, "it was confirmed to me by Adolph Miller, a member of the Reserve 
Board, that Strong and his European allies proposed still more 'easy money policies,' which 
included continued manipulation of the discount rates and open market operations - more 
inflation." Hoover says he protested to Fed chairman Daniel Crissinger, a political appointee left 
over from the Harding era who was in over his head. "The other members of the board," says 
Hoover, "except Adolph Miller, were mediocrities, and Governor Strong was a mental annex of 
Europe." 

Hoover had to some extent struggled behind the scenes in 1925 against Norman's demands, but 
by 1927 he had begun to defer in matters of high finance to Ogden Mills, who was willing to go 
along with the Bank of England program. After the crash, Hoover's friend Adolph Miller of the 
Fed Board of Governors told a committee of the US Senate: 

In the year 1927. . .you will note the pronounced increase in these holdings [US Treasury 
securities held by the Fed] in the second half of the year. Coupled with the heavy purchases of 
acceptances it was the greatest and boldest operation every undertaken by the Federal Reserve 
System, and, in my judgment, resulted in one of the most costly errors committed by it or any 



other banking system in the last 75 years. . . What was the object of the Federal Reserve Policy in 
1927? It was to bring down money rates, the call rate among them, because of the international 
importance the call rate had come to acquire. The purpose was to start an outflow of gold - to 
reverse the previous inflow of gold into this country. 

[Senate Hearings pursuant to S.R. 71, 1931, p. 134 in Lionel Robbins, The Great Depression 
(London, 1934), p. 53.] 

A few years later the British economist Lionel Robbins offered the following commentary on 
Miller's testimony: "The policy succeeded. . . .The London position was eased. The reflation 
succeeded. But from that date, the situation got completely out of control. By 1928 the 
authorities were throughly frightened. But now the forces they had released were too strong for 
them. In vain they issued secret warnings. In vain they pushed up their own rates of discount. 
Velocity of circulation, the frenzied anticipation of speculators and company promoters, had now 
taken control. With resignation the best men in the system looked forward to the inevitable 
smash." [Robbins, pp. 53-54] 

Robbins contends that the Wall Street bubble of 1925-1929 was built on top of an economy that 
was sinking into recession in 1925. The Norman-Strong bubble masked that recession until the 
panic exploded in 1929. Robbins places the responsibility for the Crash at the door of the Federal 
Reserve and its European counterparts: "Thus, in the last analysis, it was deliberate co-operation 
between Central bankers, deliberate 'reflation' on the part of the Federal Reserve authorities, 
which produced the worst phase of this stupendous inflation." [Robbins, p. 54] 

The evolution of the Norman's tactics shows clearly enough that he did not provoke a crash in 
New York out of legitimate self defense, to protect the Bank of England's gold from being 
exported to Manhattan. Norman was willing to sacrifice massive quantities of gold in order to 
feed the New York bubble and thus be sure that when panic finally came, it would be as 
devastating as possible. Between July 1928 and February, 1929, the New York Fed lending rate 
was 5%, half a point higher than the 4.5% that was the going rate at the Bank of England. As the 
London Economist commented, "two years ago [in early 1927] no one would have believed New 
York could remain half a point above London for more than a few weeks without London being 
forced to follow suit." [Economist, February 9, 1929, p. 275] All during the autumn of 1928 the 
Bank of England hemorrhaged gold to Manhattan, as British pounds hurried to cash in on the 
12% annual interest rates to be had in the Wall Street brokers' call loan market. Even in January 
and February of 1929, months when the Bank of England could normally expect to take in gold, 
the gold outflow continued. 

During the first week of February, 1929, Norman raised the London bank rate to 5.5%. The 
Economist snidely commented: 

Finally, the 5.5 per cent, rate comes as a definite signal to America. It must not be supposed that 
Continental centres will remain indifferent to London's lead, and its cumulative effect may well be 
a definite pronouncement that Europe is not prepared to stand idly by and see the world's stocks 
sucked into a maelstrom. Wall Street can scarcely remain indifferent to such a pronouncement, 
especially if the New York Reserve Bank follows by a sharp increase in its own rate. In any case, 
the establishment of European interest rates upon a new and higher level may well draw gold back 



from New York before long; and if so the 5.5 per cent, rate will have done its work. 
[Economist, 9 February 1929, p. 275] 

The higher British bank rate scared a number of Wall Street speculators. In two days the Dow 
Jones average declined by about 15 points to 301 . On the day Norman hiked the rates, the volume 
went over 5 million shares, at that tme an extraordinary level. But within a few days the 
momentum of speculation reasserted itself. 

The signal sent by the higher London Bank Rate was underlined in March 1929 by the Anglophile 
banker Paul Warburg. This was once again the scion of the notorious Anglo -Venetian Del Banco 
family who had been the main architect of the Federal Reserve System. Warburg now warned that 
the upward movement of stock prices was "quite unrelated to respective increases in plant, 
property, or earning power." In Warburg's view, unless the "colossal volume of loans" and the 
"orgy of unrestrained speculation" could be checked, stocks would ultimately crash, causing "a 
general depression involving the entire country." [Noyes, p. 324] 

Between February and April 1929, the Bank of England was able slightly to improve its gold 
stocks. By late April the pound began to weaken, and the Banque de France, true to Moreau's 
hard line policy, siphoned off more of Norman's gold. July 1929 was a bad month for 
Threadneedle Street's gold. By August 21, 1929 the Bank of England had paid out 24 million 
pounds' worth of gold since the start of the year. In August and September, however, the gold 
outflow slowed. 

On the morning of 4 September 1929, the New York hedge fund operator Jesse Livermore 
received a message from a source in London according to which a "high official" of the Bank of 
England - either Montagu Norman or one of his minions - had told a luncheon group of City of 
London men that "the American bubble has burst." The same official was also quoted as saying 
that Norman was looking for an excuse to raise the discount rate before the end of the month. 
The message concluded by noting that a financier by the name of Clarence Hatry was in big 
financial trouble. [Thomas and Morgan- Witts, pp. 279-280] 

The New York Federal Reserve Bank had raised its discount rate to 6% on August 8. Soon 
therafter, the market began to run out of steam. The peak of the Coolidge bull market was 
attained on September 3, 1929, when many leading stocks reached their highest price quotations. 
So Livermore's Bank of England source had been right on te money. On Sept. 5, the market 
broke downward on bearish predictions from economic forecaster Roger Babson, who on this day 
won his nickname as "the Prophet of Loss." During the following weeks, the market drifted 
sideways and downward. 

On September 20, 1929 it became known in the City of London that the Clarence Hatry group, 
which supposedly had been worth about 24 million pounds, was hopelessly insolvent. On that day 
Hatry and his leading associates confessed to fraud and forgery in the office of Sir Archibald 
Bodkin, the Director of Public Prosecutions, went to have lunch at the Charing Cross Hotel, and 
were jailed. Hatry later asserted that in late August, he had made a secret visit to the Bank of 
England to appeal to Montagu Norman for financing to allow him to complete a merger with 



United Steel Company, a UK firm. Norman had adamantly refused Hatry's bid for a bridge loan. 
By 17 September, when Hatry stock began to fall on the London exchange, Hatry had liabilities of 
19 million pounds and assets of 4 million pounds. 

When, on 19 September, Hatry approached Lloyd's Bank in last a desperate bid for financing, the 
wayward financier had told his story to Sir Gilbert Garnsey, a chartered accountant. Garnsey had 
made a second approach to Norman for emergency financing, and had also been rebuffed. At this 
point Norman had informed the chairman of the London Stock Exchange that the Hatry group 
was bankrupt; in this conversation it was agreed that trading in Hatry shares would be suspended 
on 20 September. 

Norman thus wanted the Hatry bankruptcy; he could have prevented it if he had wanted to. How 
many times did Norman, who operated totally in the dark as far as the British government and 
public were concerned, bail out other tycoons who happened to be his friends and allies? The 
Hatry affair was useful to Norman first of all because it caused a rapid fall in the London stock 
market. London stockjobbers who were caught short on cash were forced to liquidate their New 
York holdings, and the Economist spoke of "forced sales" on Wall Street occasioned by the 
"Hatry disclosures." [London Economist, 23 November, 1929, p. 955] More important, Norman 
could now pretend that since confidence in London had been rudely shaken, he needed to raise the 
bank rate to prevent a further flight of funds. 

Less than a week after the Hatry group's debacle, Norman made his final and decisive bid to 
explode the New York bubble. He once again raised the Bank of England discount rate. As the 
New York Times reported from London, "the atmosphere was tense in the financial district and 
exciting scenes were witnessed outside the Royal Exchange. Ten minutes before noon a 
uniformed messenger rushed into the corridor of the Bank carrying a framed notice over his head. 
The notice read: 'Bank rate 6 1/2 per cent.' A wild scramble ensued as messengers and brokers 
dashed back to their offices with the news." One of the subtitles of the Times's article was 
"BUSINESS FEARS RESULTS". [NYT, 27 September 1929] And well they might have. 

6.5% was a very high discount rate for London in those days, and a full point had been a big 
jump. The London rate had not been so high since 1921, during the so-called deflation panic of 
1920-21 . The British move towards higher rates was imitated within two days by the central 
banks of smaller continental states where British influence was high: Austria, Denmark, Norway, 
Sweden, and the Irish Republic all hiked their discount rate. On October 10 the British monetary 
authorities in India also raised the discount rate there by a full point. Added to the steps already 
taken by the Bank of England, these actions generated a giant sucking sound as money was pulled 
out of New York and across the Atlantic. 

The Economist approved Norman's maneuver, while blaming "the continuance of Stock 
Exchange speculation in America, with its concomitant high call rates" for the need to go 6.5%. 
Such a high rate would of course be highly destructive to British factories and farms, but this, as 
we have already seen, counted for nothing in Norman's machinations. The Economist 
commentary ended with a very sinister prophecy: 

Still, on the whole, few will doubt that the Bank was right this week to change over to 



its. . .alternative of imposing dearer money rates at home. It has decided to do so at a moment 
when the fates are becoming propitious to an early success, which should permit of a relaxation of 
the present tension before too long a period has elapsed. 
[The Economist 28 September 1929, p. 557] 

What the Economist meant by success, as we will see, was the detonation of a collossal panic in 
New York. By abruptly pulling millions of pounds out of New York, Norman turned the sagging 
Coolidge bull market into the biggest rout in stock market history up to that time. Then, as the 
Economist suggests, the British bank rate could come down again. 

John Kenneth Galbraith, in his much-quoted study The Great Crash, curiously manages to avoid 
mentioning the raise in the British Bank Rate as the immediate detonator of the Crash of 1929. 
But then, Galbraith is a Canadian and an Anglophile. But a few old American textbooks had the 
story somewhat better: "The stovck-market collapse came in October, 1929 when English interest 
rates were raised to six and one-half per cent in order to bring home needed capital that had been 
attracted to the United States by the high speculative profits," wrote hicks and Mowry in their 
1956 Short History of American Democracy". 

Various London outlets now began feverishly signalling that it was time to pull the rug out from 
under the New York market. A prominent signaller was Philip Snowdon, the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer in the Labour Party government of Ramsay MacDonald which had come into power in 
the spring of 1929 on a platform which had included the need for better relations with the United 
States. On October 3, 1929, Snowdon addressed the Labour Party's annual conference in 
Brighton. Snowdon' s audience was understandably not happy with a higher bank rate, since they 
would be the main victims of unemployment. 

Snowdon, while stressing that Norman's actions were independent of the Exchequer, genially told 
the delegates that "there was no other recourse." Why not? Snowdon first repeated the argument 
about defending London's gold stocks: "Monetary conditions in America, Germany, and France 
have been such as to create a great demand for the currencies of those countries, dollars, marks, 
and francs, and a consequent selling of sterling, with the result that the rates of exchange have 
gone against us recently, reaching points where payments were taken in gold." The US, in 
particular, was the culprit: "In New York, with America's plethora of liquid capital and high rates, 
there has been a usual year's orgy of speculation, draining money away from England." "There 
has been a raid on the financial resources of this country which the increased bank rate is now 
intended to check" Snowdon ranted. "The object of the increased rate is to draw money back to 
England," Snowdon stressed. The hardship of high rates must be blamed on the US: ". . .there 
must be something wrong and requiring our attention when such an orgy 3,000 miles away can so 
dislocate the financial system of this country and inflict injury on our workers and employers." It 
was time to bail out of New York and come home to London, Snowdon urged: "British credit is 
the best in the world. The British market is the safest in the world for those who are satisfied with 
reasonable investments and not lured into wild speculations." [NYT, 4 October 1929] 

When J.P. Morgan read this speech, he was reportedly apoplectic that Snowdon had repeated his 
catchphrase of "orgy of speculation" so many times. But J.P. Morgan was also in the process of 



going short. 



Snowdon's speech was widely applauded in the City of London, the New York Times reported 
the next day, and his "reference to the effect of the American speculation on the international 
situation was also approved. . .the feeling is that such movements must be allowed to bring their 
own correction." [NYT, 6 October 1929] The "correction" was now only a few weeks away. 

On October 21, 1929 the Great Crash began. On October 24, at the height of the panic, Winston 
Churchill appeared briefly in the visitors' gallery of the New York Stock Exchange to view the 
boiling trading floor and savor the chaos he had wrought. On October 29, the principal market 
index lost 40 points on a volume of almost 12.9 million shares, an all-time record in that epoch. 

One of the remarkable features of October 29 was the large number of immense block lots of 
stock that were dumped on the market, in contrast to the previous days when the panic had 
mainly involved smaller margin-leveraged investors. In those days the financial editor of the New 
York Times was the veteran journalist Alexander Dana Noyes, who had played the role of 
Anglophile Cassandra of the Coolidge market: at every periodic convulsion in the speculative 
fever, Noyes had proclaimed that the day of reckoning had finally come. In his later 
autobiography, The Market Place: Reminiscences of a Financial Editor (Boston: Little Brown, 
1938), Noyes admits in passing that the British had played a key role in the dumping of these 
large blocks of stock: "Afterward, it came to be known that the forced selling was not only stock 
which had been bought for the rise by the hundreds of of thousands of outside speculators, but 
represented also the closing-out of professional speculators who had been individually 'carrying' 
immense lines of stock. Possibly London, which after its habit had been joining in the American 
speculation... started indiscriminate foreign selling." [p. 330] 

By the end of October, the total value of stocks listed on the New York Exchange had declined 
by 37%. That, it turned out, was only the beginning. By the time the bottom was finally reached in 
March, 1933, stocks had declined in price by more than 80%. By 1932 commodity prices had 
fallen by 30 to 40%. World manufacuring production was down by 30 to 50%. World trade 
declined by two thirds. The International Labor Office in 1933 said that approximately 33 million 
persons were out of work. 

By Halloween, Norman was able to reduce the London rate from 6.5% to 6%. The Economist 
gloated: 

"Seldom has the country received a more agreeable surprise than that sprung upon it by the Bank 
of England when at, twelve o'clock on Thursday morning, it announced that its rate had been 
reduced from 6 1/2 to 6 per cent. Five weeks ago, when Bank rate was raised from 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 
per cent., doubts were freely expressed lest the new rate might not prove effective in correcting 
the exchanges and stemming the flow of gold from this country; and voices were heard foreboding 
that 6 1/2 per cent, might have to be followed by 7 1/2 per cent, in a few weeks' time. Less than 
three weeks sufficed to confound the school of extreme pessimists, for by the middle of October 
[when the New York panic began] it was plain that all danger of a higher Bank rate had passed. 
The dollar was nearer the import than the export gold point, the mark was back to par, and 
London and the sterling was proving a magnet for the world's floating balances. 



"The final collapse of the Wall Street boom under the avalanche of selling which began on 
Thursday of last week, and which must be regarded as the main factor in the Bank's decision, has 
confounded optimists and pessimists alike. . . .it must be borne in mind that the Bank rate was 
raised to 6 1/2 per cent, last September solely to make London an attractive centre for short 
money. . . .the crux of the situation lay in the attraction of the New York market both for floating 
balances to be lent at call, and for the funds of private investors anxious to participate in the profts 
of a boom which appeared to have no end. Steps had to be taken by the Bank of England to 
counter a situation which threatened to become critical for its own reserves. 

"Even before Wall Street's 'Black Thursday,' events showed that the new Bank rate was 
achieving its objects to an extent surpassing expectations. . . .With the final collapse of the Wall 
Street boom, and the definite end of a critical phase in the world's monetary history, in which 
New York had been an inconveniently overwhelming competitor for international funds, the Bank 
of Ebgland decided. . .to lose no time in allowing Bank rate to drop to the level of the market 
rate.... 

". . .it would be premature to jump to the conclusion that the Wall Street break has cleared the 
world's monetary and commercial horizon of every cloud. . .there is warrant for hoping that the 
deflation of the exaggerated balloon of American stock values will ultimately be for the good of 
the world. . . .we look for a gradual improvement in the international monetary situation as the 
huge balances hitherto concentrated in New York redistribute themselves over the rest of the 
world - thus greatly easing the strain on the British banking system and opening possibilities for a 
further reduction in Bank rate in the not very distant future. . . . 

"The cessation of the westward flow of funds, even if the reversal of the process does not lead to 
the early recovery by London of all, or nearly all, her lost gold, should greatly ease the difficulties 
presented by the problems of international debt payments and the interrelated Reparations 
issue... The 6 1/2 per cent, rate HAS DONE ITS WORK AND DONE IT WELL." [London 
Economist, 2 November 1929, pp. 805-806, emphasis added] 

On November 23, when the smoke had cleared on Wall Street and the wreckage there was more 
clearly visible, the Economist catalogued "Reactions to the Wall Street Slump." Again they 
recurred to Montagu Norman's interest rate hike of September 26: "That advance. . .was a by no 
means negligible factor in turning into the opposite direction the tide of funds which had been 
flowing so strongly toward New York, and in causing the edifice of the American speculation to 
totter." [London Economist, 23 November 1929, p. 955] 

By mid-December the London discount rate was down to 5%. The Economist in its year-end 
review of 1929, repeated its praise for Norman's bank rate strategem: "In the financial world we 
faced and met a crisis which, in the opinion of the doubters, threatened even to endanger the gold 
standard in this country. But after enduring a long-continued drain of gold. . .the Bank at a critical 
moment took a course as bold as it was successful, and in the event it proved necessary only to 
put up with acutely dear money for a matter of weeks." In that holiday season of 1929 the 
Economist saw "a depression from across the Atlantic of cyclonic force" but since "Great 
Britain's monetary position in regard to gold need give rise to no anxiety" and British "industry 
starts a New Year . . .on more even terms with our competitors than for many years past," 



Norman had scored a "success." 



Norman had succeeded in torpedoing the US economy, but he had also unleashed a world 
depression. The British had been in a depression anyway, so getting the rest of the world to join 
them in their misery was a highly positive development. As for Benjamin Strong, he had died in 
October, 1928. 

FROM COLLAPSE TO DISINTEGRATION 

During 1930, levels of employment and production declined sharply in most of the world. British 
unemployment went from a colossal 1.34 million at the end of 1929 to an astronomical 2.5 million 
at the end of 1930. By late in the year Lord Keynes was writing of the "Great Slump of 1930," as 
a result of which mankind was living "this year in the shadow of one of the greatest economic 
catastrophes of modern history." [Essays in Persuasion, p. 135] Keynes estimated that the level of 
new capital investment in the United States was by late 1930 already 20% to 30% less than it had 
been in 1928. [p. 145] 

1930 also saw a series of post-crash banking failures, especially among smaller banks of the rural 
south. These bank failures struck Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina. There was 
also the insolvency of the Bank of United States in the New York City garment district. 

With Wall Street crippled, London quickly became the center of what today would be called 
international hot money, with short term sterling balances that were ready to rush anywhere in the 
world a better rate of return could be obtained. During the period of uncertainty about the fate of 
the French franc between 1924 and 1926, large amounts of French hot money had shifted into 
London and had remained there. This money would exit with particular abruptness in case of 
trouble in London. This meant that a sudden collapse of confidence in London could easily lead to 
panic and the massive flight of capital. 
THE COLLAPSE OF EUROPE 

In late 1929 and 1930, the British financiers noticed very little change in their usual depression 
routine. But the explosion in New York cut off loans and wrecked the banking system in central 
Europe, as signalled by the Kreditanstalt banruptcy in Vienna in May 1931, and the fall of the 
Danatbank and the rest of the German banks in July of the same year. 

Vienna had been chronically troubled because of its status as the full-sized head of a truncated 
body after the breakup of the Austro- Hungarian Empire. The Kreditanstalt, a Rothschild 
property, was the survivor among the Vienna banking houses, which had succumbed one by one 
to the post-Versailles slump. As a result, Kreditanstalt owed $76 million abroad, mainly to UK 
and US investors. An international effort to bail out the Kreditanstalt with the help of the 
Rothschilds, the Bank for International Settlements, the Bank of England, and others availed 
nothing. 

Failure of the Kreditanstalt meant the bankruptcy of much of central Europe. The crisis of the 
German banks took center stage. Even more than in Austria, the drying up of New York as a 
source of lending was the main culprit here. It was estimated that Germany had to meet yearly 



foreign payments of $800 million, including the onerous reparations. A run on the Berlin banks 
developed. Within a short time Germany was forced to export two fifths of her gold reserves for a 
total of $230 million. 

The crisis in Berlin inevitably had immediate and serious repercussions in London. Some believed 
that British financial houses had been too slow to pull their money out of Berlin, and that large 
sums owned by the British had been frozen in Berlin when the banks there were shut down. Part 
of the panic travelled to London by way of Amsterdam: the Dutch banks had loaned heavily in 
Germany, and the Dutch withdrew their considerable assets from London to stay afloat. Now the 
tremors unleashed by the Crash of 1929 had undermined the entire banking system in Germany, 
Austria, Romania, Hungary, and the rest of central Europe. 

It was at this point, with a cynical treacherous reversal of their entire policy, that the British 
decided to wreck the sterling- centered international monetary system which they had 
re-assembled after World War I. Their gesture was similar to the speculative attacks on the pound 
mounted by George Soros and other British- backed speculators in September, 1992, which 
aimed at destroying the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, a grid of relatively fixed parities 
among the continental currencies. In soccer terms it was an "autogol" or own goal, scored against 
one's own purported team. 

In the midst of the German crisis the fact that German reparations and interallied war debts could 
not be payed was finally recognized by US President Herbert Hoover, who was realistic enough 
to proclaim the debt moratorium which bears his name - the Hoover moratorium of June, 1931, 
which froze all reparations and war debt payments for 1 year. This moratorium was approved by 
the US Congress with sweeping majorities in December, 1931. But the Hoover moratorium was 
too little and too late. By the time Hoover had made up his mind to act, Schacht's Reichsbank 
was just a few weeks away from defaulting on gold payment and imposing strict controls on all 
currency transfers to the outside world. Another problem with the Hoover moratorium was that it 
was announced for only one year - it should have been for the duration of the crisis. The Hoover 
Moratorium also contained a domestic political trick: if the European governments were not 
required to pay their debt to the United States government, then those same Europeans might still 
have enough liquidity to pay back their loans American privately owned banks and businesses. So 
the US Treasury would have suffered, for the benefit of the private sector. In December, 1932 
France, Belgium and other debtors defaulted, and the Hoover Moratorium became permanent in 
practice. 

Under the guidance of Schacht and Montagu Norman, the Germany of Chancellor Heinrich 
Bruening rapidly evolved into the prototype of the autarkical currency bloc of the 1930?s. Most 
of the classical Schachtian apparatus later employed by Hitler was already in place before Hitler 
ever came to power. 

The emergence of the mark zone was also assisted by Hoover's Secretary of State, the notorious 
Anglophile Henry Stimson — the ego ideal of the youthful George Bush. It was in fact Simson 
who, while attending the London Conference on the German crisis, proposed the so-called 
Standstill Agreements, which stated that creditors owed money by the German government or by 



German banks and businesses would be obliged to refrain from demanding payment, and in any 
case not to take their money out of Germany. This gambit was found especially appalling by 
Jacques Rueff, who was in attendance. A debt moratorium for the duration of the crisis would 
have been simpler and far more effective. As it was, the ability of German residents to buy and 
spend abroad was throughly curtailed. Soon all trade was restricted, and frozen and blocked 
accounts were instituted. The Reichsbank rediscount rate went to a strangulating 10%, and the 
rate on collateral loans went to 15%. In the domestic economy, deflation and austerity were the 
order of the day. All of this played politically into the hands of Hitler and the Nazis, which was 
precisely the intention of Montagu Norman. 

LONDON'S SINGAPORE DEFENSE OF THE BRITISH POUND, 1931 

The surrender to Japan of the British naval base and fortress of Singapore on February 15, 1941 
was the culmination of one of the most absurd military farces in the history of Perfide Albion. This 
was the result of a long-term, conscious and deliberate committment to surrender Singapore as 
soon as possible if attacked by Japan, combined with the need to make a sham of defending the 
place so as not unduly to arouse the suspicions of the bloody Yanks. The British were looking 
ahead to the postwar world. They wanted the Japanese to have plenty of time to attain and fortify 
their defense perimeter, so that the US losses in rolling back Nippon would be nothing short of 
catastrophic. At the same time, the British wantesd to hide this treachery from the US public. It 
had to look as if they were caving in to force majeure. 

At the time, every schoolboy knew that the British had fortified their coast defense artillery so that 
the guns could only point out to sea, and not to the land approaches, which were the axis of 
attack chosen by the Japanese. The British troops present, mainly imperial conscripts, were more 
or less overtly told not to fight. Once the needs of dramaturgy for the US market had been 
satisfied, Gen. Percival, the British commander, surrendered with all deliberate speed. 

The feeble efforts to save the pound mounted by Montagu Norman's Bank of England and by 
Ramsay MacDonald's national unity cabinet in the summer of 193 1 can be usefully summed up as 
a "Singapore defense" avant la lettre — a bungling bogus sham that was deliberately designed to 
fail. 

NORMAN INTENDED TO DEFAULT ALL ALONG 

There is sold evidence that Montagu Norman's decision to provoke a British default on gold 
payment dated back to mid- July, 1931, well before the pound got into trouble. The following is an 
account of Montagu Norman's meeting with the German delegation during the London 
Conference of July, 1931, which had been called together to deal with the crisis of the German 
banks and currency. Norman's preferred recipe for Germany was default on gold payment, 
standstill agreements, and a possible debt moratorium. As we see here, Norman told German 
State Secretary Schaeffer that in a few weeks it would be clear what he was driving at — which in 
retrospect was understood by all concerned as an allusion to Norman's own coming British 
default on gold payment: 

"Zur fuer die ganze Konferenz entscheidenden internen Sitzung kam es am 21. [Juli 1931] in der 
britischen Treasury, an der Reichskanzler Bruening, Ministerialdirektor Schwerin-Krosigk, 



Staatssekretaer Schaeffer und Geheimrat Vocke auf deutscher und Montague Norman, Sir 
William Leith-Ross und Waley auf britischer Seite teilnahmen. In dieser Sitzung erklaerte 
Montague Norman mit aller Offenheit, dass er bei vollem Verstaendinis fuer die deutsche Lage 
nicht imstande sei, ueber die Bank von England zu helfen, da dise selbst durch die anhaltende 
Geldabzuege der letzten Tage (taeglich bis zu 2 Mill. Pfund) unter schwerstem Druck stehe. Sein 
einziger - und unter den gegebenen Verhaeltnissen auch einzig moeglicher - Rat waere, die 
Konferenz schnell zu beenden, deutscherseits selbst private Stillhaltevereinbarungen mit den 
Auslandsglauebigern zu treffen, gegebenfalls ein Auslandsmoratorium - und im Inneren 
Suspendierung der Goldeinloesungs- und Golddeckungspflicht, mit anderen Worten genau das, 
was England acht Wochen spaeter selbst zu tun gezwungen war. Dass Norman dabei bereits an 
diese spaetere eigene Politik dachte, geht daraus hervor, dass er im Anschluss an die Sitzung 
Staatssekretaer Schaeffer persoenlich erklaerte, dass Schaeffer ihn in wenigen Wochen wohl 
verstehen wuerde." [Rolf E. Lueke, Von der Stabilisierung zur Krise (Zuerich: Polygraphischer 
Verlag, ) 

This report not only illuminates the timing of Norman's decision to default. It also shows how 
explicitly Norman pushed Germany into the status of an autarkical currency bloc, with all 
international payments subject to strict government controls. 

On August 23, Norman (who was nursing one of his periodic nervous breakdowns in Canada) 
talked by telephone with Harrison of the New York Fed. Harrison asked Norman if he though 
that the austerity program proposed by the new British National Government were adequate. 
Norman replied that he believed that the austerity program was not adequate, and that any 
inadequate program was bound to cause trouble within a year or so. Norman recommended 
exploiting the current crisis to force through an economic adjustment featuring a drastic reduction 
in wages and in the cost of production, so as to make British goods competitive again. If this were 
done, Norman thought, there would be no need for any loans. Harrison objected that it might be 
risky to rely exclusively on a balanced budget to defend a currency. Norman was signalling a new 
defeatist policy for the Bank of England — one that impotently called on the British government to 
impose more austerity. 
HARVEY LIES TO THE CABINET 

The Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Ernest Harvey - the man who actually 
terminated the British gold standard - was uniformly defeatist throughout the crisis. At a cabinet 
meeting on September 3, Harvey expressed his conviction that "the future course of events 
depended largely upon the attitude of the British public towards the Government's proposals." 
This view, expressed at the height of the crisis, was at odds with the entire Bank of England and 
postwar central bank ideology, which stressed the autonomy and power of the central banks over 
the flailing of the politicians and governments. For three centuries the Bank of England had 
considered itself responsible for the fate of the pound; now Harvey was talking out of the other 
side of his mouth. This reversal of attitude was also expressed in Lord Norman's constant refrain 
that the crisis of the pound had to be solved by a balanced budget on the part of the British 
government, and not by an increase in the Bank Rate of other measures which only the Bank of 
England itself could take. 



As contemporary observer Palyi writes, "several 'eyewitnesses' have told this writer that both 
those in the Treasury and in the Bank had convinced themselves that Britain's house could not be 
brought into order without first 'teaching a lesson' to a public which was either indifferent or 
indolent." [Palyi, p. 269] But that was a cover story for deliberately scuttling the pound. 

At that same cabinet meeting of September 3, Sir Ernest Harvey told the cabinet that total losses 
by the Bank of England since the beginning of the crisis amounted so far to 130 million pounds in 
gold and foreign exchange. Harvey then deliberately lied to the cabinet, stating that since the loans 
made to London by the foreign central banks would have to be repaid in gold if they could not be 
paid any other way, this "amounted in effect to a lien on a portion of their existing gold holding 
and reduced their actual free holding to little more than 80 million pounds or about the equivalent 
of the new government credit." As one historian comments, "This alarming exposition of the 
credit agreements was. . .seriously misleading. They did not provide for a lien on the Bank of 
England's gold or anything close to it. Rather they contained a gold payment clause which 
required that payment be made in gold." [Kunz, p. 122] 
LONDON REFUSES TO RAISE BANK RATE TO CRISIS LEVEL 

As Robbins notes, the monetarist orthodoxy of British financial experts between the two world 
wars was that if a country got into economic trouble, "You must put up your bank rate and you 
must limit your fiduciary issue. Anything else is bad finance." Curiously, when the terminal crisis 
of Montagu Norman's much- vaunted gold standard finally arrived, the British did neither of these 
things. 

British monetarist ideology featured the faith that an increase in the Bank of England's bank rate 
could pull gold up out of the ground, or even attract gold to London from the moon. The bank 
rate was at the heart of the entire British fetish of usury. 

Fiduciary issue of currency was a means used to regulate the supply of credit. These were extra 
bank notes issued by the central bank. Cutting fiduciary issue would have meant a credit 
contraction - tight money. In the midst of the summer, 1931 pound and gold crisis, the British 
actually increased their fiduciary issue, when their own orthodoxy would have dictated a sharp 
cut. But the Norman's Bank of England persistently increased fiduciary issue in the face of the 
crisis. 

NORMAN'S REFUSAL TO HIKE THE BANK RATE 

As for the Bank Rate, the Bank of England acted in violent contradiction to its own monetarist 
orthodoxy. As one scholar later summed up: 

"On May 14 [1931], immediately after the collapse of the Kredit-Anstalt, the Bank Rate was 
actually lowered, from 3 to 2 1/2 per cent. It was not changed until July 23rd, when at last it was 
raised to 3 1/2 per cent. During the last week or so of July the Bank of England lost over 25 
million pounds in gold. On July 30th the Bank Rate was again raised, but only to 4 1/2 per cent, 
and there it remained until September 21st. Great Britain had always advocated a high Bank Rate 
as the remedy for a financial crisis and a drain of gold. She had been on the gold standard, in 
effect, for over two hundred years, with only two breaks - one during the Napoleonic wars and 



one during the last war [1914-1925]. Now for the first time in her history she suspended gold 
payments in time of peace and with a Bank Rate of 4 1/2 per cent ! Does it follow that the British 
monetary authorities were secretly glad to leave the gold standard? . . . .why was the Bank Rate not 
raised but actually lowered after the Kredit Anstalt closed? Why was it not raised to 8 per cent or 
perhaps 10 per cent in July or even in August?" [Benham, Monetary Policy, pp. 9-11] These are 
good questions. 

Back in 1929, when Montagu Norman had been concerned with precipitating the New York stock 
market panic, 6.5% had not seemed too high a Bank rate in view of the desired result. In April 
1920, when the Norman had wanted to undercut New York, the Bank Rate reached 7%, and had 
stayed there for a full year. But now, 4.5% was the nec plus ultra. 

A worried J.P. Morgan of New York cabled on September 7 to Morgan Grenfel in London: 

'Are the British Treasury and the Bank of England satisfied that the present method of dealing 
with the sterling exchange is the best that can be devised? In this connection the question naturally 
arises as to why the Bank of England does not use the classic remedy of Bank Rate instead of 
apparently pegging the exchange." [Kunz, p. 126] 

Apologists for Norman and his retainers have advanced various lame arguments to explain the 
gross treachery of Threadneedle Street. One argument was that the British domestic economy was 
already too depressed to survive a rise in the Bank Rate. But on September 21, after defaulting on 
gold, the Bank of England raised the Bank Rate to 6% and left it there for five months, regardless 
of the impact on the credit-starved domestic British economy. 

Then there is the argument of "prestige," which claims that radically to raise the Bank Rate under 
the pressure of foreign gold demands would have undermined the prestige of the pound sterling. 
Was it then more prestigious to default? 

"It had been intimated that the decision to devalue was due to British 'sensitivity': the Treasury 
and the Bank found it 'undignified' to balance the national budget under pressure of foreign 
bankers. Was their dignity better served by defaulting?" [Palyi, p. 294] 

As the same author sums it up, "the reluctance to use the discount weapon was at the root of the 
widely disseminated charge that 'perfidious Albion' had intentionally 'trapped its creditors," 
especially given the fact that British foreign obligations were denominated in pounds, not in the 
currency of the lending country. So these foreign obligations could be paid off in cheaper pounds 
after a default and devaluation. 
THE FRANCO-AMERICAN LOANS 

The British judged that their sham defense of the pound required at least some semblance of 
support operations for their own currency in the international markets. For this purpose, it was 
decided to procure loans from the United States and France for these support operations. The 
main effect of these loans was to make the lquidity crisis that followed the British default more 
acute in both Paris and New York. 



British representative H.A. Siepmann arrived in Paris on August 24 to begin negotiating the 
French loan. Given the fast pace of the crisis, Siepmanm should have been a man in a hurry. But 
Siepmann "took the approach that the question of a credit was not a top priority matter, a rather 
suprising one in the cirumstances and one that not only confused Governor Moret but diverged 
totally from the viewpoint held by Morgan's (N.Y.) and Harrison" at the New York Federal 
Reserve. [Kunz, p. 113] 

Morgan's for its part had been reluctant to undertake the British loan. The mood among other 
American banks was shown by the unprecedented number of refusals to participate in the 
underwriting of the loan which arrived in response to the offer cable sent out by Morgan's. Banks 
refusing such an offer ran the risk of being excluded from future Morgan loan syndications. The 
refusals show the extreme liquidity anxieities already besetting the US bankers. 

This state of affairs is reflected in the following cable from Morgan, New York to Chancellor of 
the Exchequer Philip Snowden in London: 

"In reference to the proposed interest rate in America we may emphasize that there is not a single 
institution in our whole banking community which actually desires the British Treasury Notes on 

any terms either as to commission or interest Every institution is probably making strenuous 

endeavours to get its position more liquid." [Kunz, p. 116-117] 

As it was, the British took in the loans, which were obtained by the British Exchequer from New 
York and Paris. Starting on August 1, the British government organized a loan of $250 million, 
mainly from the United States. On August 26, the British requested and were granted a further 
US loan of $400 million. [Hoover, pp. 81-82] 

The British loan was the biggest made by Morgan between the world wars. The loan took the 
form of a pledge by Morgan and 109 other American banks to purchase dollar-denominated 
Treasury Bills of the British government for periods of 30, 60 and 90 days. 
AUGUST 4 CRISIS - NO INTERVENTION BY BANK OF ENGLAND 

During the first days of August, the British authorities announced that they would receive loans 
from foreign central banks for the purpose of conducting support operations for the pound 
sterling. But on August 4, the Bank of England and its agents were inexplicably absent from the 
currency markets, and the pound quotation collapsed below the gold export point to New York. 
Norman and his crew had "forgotten" to defend the pound that day — clearly a conscious 
decision to sabotage their own pound. The confidence-building effect of the central bank loans 
was completely dissipated. To make matters worse, support operations seem to have been 
virtually "forgotten" again two days later. 
GOLD SOVEREIGNS SUSPENDED 

Around the middle of September, the Bank of England suddenly discontinued its habitual practice 
of paying out gold sovereigns — that is, gold coins — to those who wanted to exchange pound 
sterling banknotes. This measure came at a time when gold bullion was still freely available for 
those who wanted to trade in larger sums. This amounted to the transition to a gold bullion 
standard. Bu the effect on market psychology turned out to be catastrophic. The suspension of 
official payment in gold sovereigns was seen for what it was - the immediate prelude to the 



default on all gold payment. 

AFTERNOON POUND BREAKS IN NEW YORK 

On August 29, Morgan partner Thomas Lamont send a cable to Grenfel in London commenting 
on the loss of confidence in the British government that was spreading on Wall Street. A cable 
two days later stressed the concern felt at Morgan's New York about "the poor handling of the 
sterling exchange, a symptom of which was the frequent breaks in the value of sterling in the New 
York market after the London market had closed. It apppeared that the Bank of England agents in 
New York were setting their watches to London time, and knocking off for the day after lunch. 
When the pound crashed just before tea-time, Norman's minions were at home. 
NO ATTACKS ON BEARS A LA POINCARE 

In the same missive, Morgan's (NY.) also suggested better liaison between the Bank of England, 
the Bank of France and the FRBNY so that the credits would become an offensive weapon rather 
than a sitting duck for rapacious financiers." [Kunz, p. 120] To be effective in stopping 
speculation, the monetary resources obtained by the Bank of England had to be employed 
dynamically. The Bank of England could not just sit there, buying unlimited quantities of pounds 
at the floor price. Rather, the money had to be used aggressively to buy pound futures so as to 
drive the pound quotation up, if only temporarily, with the result that some of the specualtors who 
had sold the pound short would have been severely burned. The pound would have received 
additional support through short covering purchases. The Bank of England needed to organize a 
short squeeze or bear squeeze so as to create genuine doubt about whether shorting the pound 
was a sure way to lock in profits. Bear squeezes and short squeezes had been actively organized 
by French Premier Poincare' during his defense of the French franc some years earlier. 
ONLY 2 SMALL BANKS USED 

Another feature of Norman's Singapore defense was the method used to organize support 
operations for the pound. All support operations were conduited through two small banks. 
Support operations against the dollar were done through the British Overseas Bank, and support 
operations against the franc were done through the Anglo- International Bank. This absurd 
method guaranteed that everyone in the markets knew exactly when and in what amount the Bank 
of England was interveneing, and that everyone also soon knew exactly how much of the various 
French and American support loans remained unused. If it had wished to be effective, the Bank of 
England would have intervened in its own name, and would also have conduited other operations 
through the big British clearing banks. The small size of the banks actually used also limited the 
amount of pound futures they could buy, since their credit was so limited. 
LOW FORWARD PRICE OF POUNDS 

On September 1, Morgans (NY.) cabled their London partners an analysis of the London and 
New York sterling markets with special focus on the weakness and lack of depth of the forward 
market. [Kunz, p. 121] The elementary strategy for defending the pound would have been to keep 
the price of pound futures above the spot price for pounds in the cash market. If that could be 
accomplished, arbitrageurs would have been impelled to sell the pound futures and buy the spot 
pounds, generating an updraft around the pound quotations. But if pound futures were allowed to 
sink lower than current pounds, financiers would obviously sell pounds and buy pound futures to 



lock in their profit. 

POUND PEGGED TOO HIGH 



Harrison of the FRBNY cabled Harvey on September 3 that in his opinion the British were 
attempting to peg the pound/dollar rate much too high. The British were attempting to support 
sterling at $4.86 to $4.86125, which was considerably above British gold export point. In 
Harrison's view, the artifically high peg only encouraged sales of sterling. Harrison wanted the 
pound to fluctuate just above that currency's gold export point. Harvey declined to make this 
change, saying that although he was in general agreement this was not the time to change tactics. 
[Kunz, p. 121] 

DUTCH GUILDER RATE NEGLECTED 

In yet another deliberate British fiasco, while the pound to dollar and pound to franc rates were 
supported, the pound to Dutch guilder quotation received no support of all. Given the 
considerably importance of the Dutch currency at the time, this was insane folly. The 
pound/guilder exchange rate went below the gold export point in September, and significant 
amounts of British gold were shipped to Amsterdam during the final phase of the bogus defense 
of the pound. 

FOREIGN SECURITIES NOT USED 

Lord Reading, the Foreign Secretary, suggested to Snowden between September 10 and 
September 14 that the Treasury prepare a plan for the mobilization of foreign securities held in 
Britain for the purpose of depending the pound. Reading thought that this operation could be 
modeled on the methods used for the same purpose during the First World War. Lord Reading 
also wanted MacDonald to order the Bank of England to prepare detailed financial data for the 
use of the Financial Subcommittee of the cabinet, composed of MacDonald, Snowden, Reading, 
and Neville Chamerlain. [Kunz, p. 129] None of this was carried out. 
BRITISH SPECULATORS: OWN GOAL 

On Monday, September 14, there was the first meeting of the Financial Subcommittee of the 
cabinet. Lord Reading wanted to determine exactly who it was that was dumping all the pounds 
on the international markets. Reading thought that many sales appeared to be British-inspired, and 
that the cabinet ought to consider a method of cracking down on such transactions. Harvey, who 
was present, expressed pessimism about the ability of the Government or the Bank to halt British 
flight capital, and "he further made the false statement that the sale of sterling by British citizens 
was not really an important problem." 

Harvey himself knew this was nonsense. In reality, "Harvey had been sufficiently alarmed about 
British sales of sterling to write to various culprits such as Lord Bradbury to ask them not to 
continue to purchase dollars. Also Fisher had told [US diplomat] Atherton that internal capital 
flight was one of the causes of Britain's problems. As the Bank of England, not the Treasury, kept 
track of currency movements, Fisher could only have known this if the Bank so informed him." 
[Kunz, p. 143] " 

The London Daily Star was upset enough about flight capital to write that if the National 



Government were really national, "it could act at once against the traitors who are sending their 
gold abroad...." [New York Times, September 18, 1931] 

On the fateful Default Day of September 21, 1931, the New York Times related the comments of 
the London correspondent of Le Matin of Paris. This journalist, Stephane Lauzanne, is quoted as 
saying: 

"The most recent purchases of foreign exchange were not undertaken for foreigners, as is stated 
in the official British statement, but in fact by British subjects. There were considerable 
withdrawals of foreign capital, but these took place mostly several weeks ago. During the past 
few days I have been assured by one of the most influential representatives of French banking 
circles in London that to his personal knowledge orders for the sale of sterling and purchases of 
dollars were given to the London banks by great numbers of British clients. Even as late as 
Saturday [September 19] 10,000,000 pounds left the Bank of England's vaults." [New York 
Times, Monday September 21, 1931] Even on the eve of the default, London was still exporting 
capital - getting the most out of available pounds to buy up assets around the world. 
THE INVERGORDON FARCE 

In late September 1929, Norman had used the Hatry bankruptcy as a pretext for raising the Bank 
Rate, which he had wanted to do for reasons of economic warfare against the USA. In 1931, an 
indispensable part of the orchestration of the British default was an alleged "mutiny" in the Royal 
Navy in protest over pay cuts. 

On Tuesday, September 15, Sir Austen Chamberlain, the First Lord of the Admiralty, informed 
MacDonald of a trifling incident which had taken place at Invergordon. About 500 sailors of the 
Royal Navy had assembled for meetings to discuss the pay cut for experienced seamen which the 
National Government was proposing. The seamen ignored orders to return to their ships until 
their protest meetings were over. In response, the Admiral of the British Atlantic Fleet announced 
the postponement of the scheduled naval maneuvers, and also the dispersal of the Atlantic fleet to 
its various home ports. It was these latter actions which "elevated what might have remained a 
small incident into a mjor occurrence. Sensational headlines around the world pointed to the 
parallels to the Russian revolution of 1905 and 1917 and the German revolution of 1918, both of 
which had been marked in their early phases by fleet mutinies. The Revolution was about to 
overpower the Royal Navy itself! In addition to this hysterical hype, there was also the sense that 
the austerity program would have rough sledding from other groups in Britain as well. [Kunz, p. 
131] 

THE BANK OF ENGLAND DEMANDS DEFAULT 

A despatch of September 17, 1931 to the New York Times reported that Sir Ernest Harvey, 
Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, and other financial leaders had gone that evening to the 
House of Commons to convey to Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald "a grave warning that the 
stability of the pound was again imperiled." "It is stated that they gave two reasons for this 
emergency - first, the naval unrest, and, second, the report that a general election was imminent." 

Saturday September 18 was the day the British cabinet officially decided to default on Britain's 
gold obligations. MacDonald called it the most solemn conference ever held at 10 Downing 



Street. True to form, it was the Bank of England that proposed the abrogation of the gold 
standard through the mouth of its Deputy Governor, who announced that the only course of 
action left was for Britain to leave the gold standard. [Kunz, p. 135] Harvey deliberately created 
the false impression that he had discussed the situation after the close of trading on Friday with 
Harrison of the New York Fed. This was not true. Harvey, in response to a question from 
MacDonald, added that he did not think it worthwhile to raise even 100 million pounds ($450 
million) if people were only going to withdraw it. MacDonald quickly agreed to default, and the 
rest of the cabinet meeting was devoted to technical details of how to terminate the gold standard. 
[Kunz, p. 135] 

It was only on Saturday, September 19 that Harvey informed Harrison of the New York Fed of 
what the British government was now doing. Harrison was described as greatly shocked by this 
decision, which came as a surprise to him. Harrison persisted for a time in exploring possible 
alternatives to London's default, and offered further loans. [Kunz, p. 137] But the Bank of 
England remained committed to immediate default. More help could have been obtained from 
Paris as well. Then there is the embarrassing fact that during the last week of the gold standard 
the Bank of England's gold stocks INCREASED from 133,300,000 to 135,600,000 pounds. 
[Palyi, p. 277] 

THE END OF THE WORLD 

On Sunday, September 20, 1931, the British government issued its statements announcing its 
decision to "suspend for the time being" the clause of the Gold Standard Act of 1925 requiring 
the Bank of England to sell gold at the fixed price. All the other elements of the official British 
mythology were also present. "His Majesty's Government have no reason to believe that the 
present difficulties are due to any substantial extent to the export of capital by British nationals. 
Undoubtedly the bulk of withdrawals has been for foreign accounts." The bloody wogs, as we 
see, were once again the root of the problem. Furthermore: "His Majesty's Government have 
arrived at their decision with the greatest reluctance. But during the last few days international 
markets have become demoralized and have been liquidating their sterling assets regardless of 
their intrinsic worth. In the circumstances there was no alternative but to protect the financial 
position of this country by the only means at our disposal." As we have seen, there were other 
means. Finally, there was the obligatory stiff upper lip: "The ultimate resources of this country are 
enormous and there is no doubt that the present exchange difficulties will prove only temporary." 
[New York Times, September 21, 1931] 

The worldwide shock was severe. In the words of Jackson E. Reynolds, then President of the 
First National Bank of New York, "when England went off gold it was like the end of the world." 
THE BANKERS' RAMP 

With the help of demagogic headlines in the London afternoon tabloids, the British oligarchy 
placed the blame for the fall of the mighty pound on a "bankers' ramp" led by foreign central 
bankers. A favorite target was poor George Harrison of the New York Federal Reserve, who was 
rewarded with slander and obloquy for his pathetic and servile devotion to the currency of British 
imperialism. Another fall-guy was the Banque de France. 



One British chronicler of these times sums up the official line of scapegoating the foreigners as 
follows: "It was basically the American trade cycle, and not British monetary policy, that made life 
so wretched for us." [R.S. Sayers, 97] 

JACQUES RUEFF ATTACKS BRITISH HANDLING OF CRISIS 

During the weeks of the British crisis, the economist Jacques Rueff was serving as the Financial 
Attache at the French Embassy in London. This meant that Rueff was in practice the manager of 
the French sterling balances. 

Palyi cites the "'posthumous' charge by Rueff that the "Bank of England defaulted intentionally in 
order to damage the creditor central banks, the Bank of France in particular. . . ." [Palyi, p. 268] 

On October 1, 1931, Rueff completed his memorandum entitled "Sur les causes et les 
enseignements de la crise financiere anglaise," which was intended to be read by French Finance 
Minister P.-E. Flandin and the French Prime Minister, Pierre Laval. 

Rueff first described the modes of intervention of the Bank of England: "Elle avait. . .deux 
instruments: le taux d'escompte et la politique dite d"open market' . . . .Depuis 1929 la Banque 
d'Angleterre a constamment utilise ces deux instruments pour maintenir aussi bas que possible les 
taux en vigeur sur le marc he de Londres. Elle a toujours retarde aux maximum les elevations de 
taux d'escompte qui s'imposaient, cependant qu'elle cherchait a augmenter, par ses achats de 
valuers d'Etat, l'abondance monetaire du marche." [Jacques Rueff, De LAube au Crepuscule, p. 
301] 

For Rueff, the British were guilty of violating the implicit rules of the gold exchange standard, 
since they tried to maintain their liquidity despite a gold outflow, "on peut affirmer notamment 
qu'en 1929 et 1930, presque sans exception, la politique d"open market' de la Banque 
d'Angleterre a ete faite a contresens. Les mouvements d'or, en effet, tendent a se corriger 
eux-memes, puisque toute sortie de metal tend a provoquer une restriction de credit, qui hausse 
les taux du marche. Or, en 1929 et 1930, toutes les fois que de l'or sortait de la Banque 
d'Angleterre, celle-ci achetait des valeurs d'Etat sur le marche, remplacant ainsi les disponibilites 
qui venaient de dispara&itremas;tre." [302] 

"Autrement dit, pendant les deux annees 1929- 1930, la Banque d'Angleterre a constamment 
paralyse le jeu des phenomenes qui tendaient a adapter la balance des paiements anglais aux 
necessites resultant de la politique economique suivie par le pays." [p. 303] 
Because of these policies, Rueff found, the British had weakened themselves even before the 
German crisis had begun: "Or, en 1931, ces fautes ont ete commises, provoquant des mouvements 
de capitaux qui ont ete mortels pour le change anglais. II est tres probable que l'Angleterre aurait 
pu y resister, si elle n' avait pas ete mise prealablement dans un etat de paralysie economique et 
financiere, interdisant a son organisme les reactions spontanees d'un marche normal." [p. 303] 

Rueff repeatedly condemns Stimson's intervention at the London Conference of July, 1931 with 
the proposal for standstill agreements which immediately created a liquidity crisis and put world 
banking in difficulty: "Toutes les banques du monde, voyant soudain immobilise une fraction tres 
importante de leurs capitaux a court terme, ont cherche a recuperer toutes les reserves qu'elles 



pouvaient rendre disponibles." [304} 



But the British always blamed the wogs: 

"...l'opinionbritannique ...recherche a l'exterieur la cause de ses difficultes." [305] 
The British had been wallowing in a depression since 1918, and that for them made it a world 
economic crisis: "II faut d'abord remarquer que, pour l'opinion britannique, la crise economique 
d'apres guerre n'est pas chose nouvelle. Depuis que l'Angleterre souffre du chomage permanent - 
c'est- a-dire depuis la guerre - l'opinion britannique et les experts anglais affirment que le monde 
est en etat de crise. Depuis la guerre, meme lorsque le monde, sauf l'Angleterre, etait en pleine 
prosperite, les representants britanniques ne cessaient de demander a la Societe des Nations de 
trouver un remede a la crise economique, qualifiee de mondiale parce qu'elle affectait les interets 
du Royaume-Uni de Grande-Bretagne et d'Irlande." [307] 

A key British problem was their high unemployment, which they had chosen to deal with by 
means of payments to the unemployed, called the dole: "Et cela explique que la hausse des prix 
soit pour l'Angleterre, dans le regime ou elle s'est volontairement placee, une necessite vitale. 
Ayant fixe une categorie des prix, elle est conduite a vouloir y adapter tour les autres. . . .Cette 
hausse des prix anglais peut, il est vrai, etre realisee sans hausse des prix mondiaux, par la 
depreciation de la livre sterling et aussi - bien que dans une mesure probablement insuffisante - 
par un tarif douanier. D'ou des diverses solutions envisagees en Angleterre, l'une d'entre elles - la 
depreciation monetaire - etant deja en voie de realisation. . . ." 
[308-309] 

For Rueff, all British proposals for international monetary cooperation were strategems designed 
to shift the crisis from Britain to the rest of the world: "II reste enfin a evoquer la derniere des 
formules par lesquelles l'Angleterre pretend que le monde devrait etre reconstruit: la cooperation 
financiere internationale. C'est la un programme dont le sens n'a jamais ete defini, probablement 
parce qu'il n'en a aucun. . . .11 n'est pas douteux que tous les plans presenter a Geneve ou a Bale, 
plan Norman, plan Kindersley, plan Francqui, tendent seulement a realiser le trust des entrprises 
en faillite et a y investir des capitaux qui sans cela se seraient refuses. Par la, ils sont un 
merveilleux instrument pour transferer les difficultes financieres des Etats qui les ont provoques, a 
ceux qui ont ete assez sages ou assez prudents pour s'en preserver. . .Tel est d'ailleurs le sens 
pro fond et l'objet veritable de tous les efforts tendant a realiser la solidarite internationale, 
solidarite que Ton invoque toujours lorsque Ton veut profiter de la prosperite des Etats voisins, 
mais jamais lorsque Ton peut leur venir en aide." 
[318-319] 

Rueff suggested a Franco-American accord capable of putting an end to the British game. 
THE BANK OF ENGLAND'S DUTCH TREAT 

By September 20, most of the sterling balances held by foreigners who were disposed to liquidate 
them had already been liquidated. The exception were sterling balances held by foreign central 
banks, like the Dutch, and these would be loyal to London, partly because their estimate was that 
the crisis was not so severe as to force the British off gold. The little people of the British public 
were proving docile enough to make no attempt to turn in their pound notes for gold. The Big 



Five clearing banks were undisturbed by panic runs or the specter of insolvency. 

There is no doubt that during the weeks before default, the Bank of England practiced the most 
cynical deception on other central banks. The Bank of England twice assured the Bank of South 
Africa that it would do everything in its power to maintain gold payments. The Bank of England 
acted with great treachery towards the Netherlands Bank, the central bank which had shown itself 
to be the truest friend of the pound, supporting it in crisis after crisis. The president of the 
Netherlands Bank, Mr. Vissering, telephoned the Bank of England on September 18, 1931 to 
enquire whether there was any truth to the rumors about a forthcoming sterling devaulation. The 
Bank of England official who answered the phone emphatically denied that there would be a 
devaluation, and offered to pay off the Netherlands Bank sterling balances in gold on the spot. 
The Dutch decided to keep their gold in London. 

A few days after the call summarized above, "Dr. G. Vissering of the Netherlands' Central Bank 
called Harvey to request that the Dutch gold held by the Bank of England be earmarked 
[separated from the Bank of England stocks as a preliminary to shipment to the Netherlands]. 
Harvey huffily refused, saying that the Dutch could either take their gold back to Amsterdam or 
keep it in London but if they chose the latter course they would not be placed in the position of a 
preferred creditor. Vissering backed down. To assuage Vissering's fears Harvey wrote him about 
the credits and stressed the total committment of the National Government to the maintenance of 
the gold standard [Kunz, pp. 119- 120] As a result, "the Netherlands Bank felt, and for good 
reason so, that it had been deceived by the Bank of England, a turn that was scarcely befitting 
Norman's idea of central bank cooperation, or the 'ethics' of the gold standard." [Palyi, p. 278] 

The Netherlands Bank thought that the Bank of England should safeguard the Netherlands Bank 
against all the sterling losses to which it was subjected. A discussion of this British betrayal is 
found in the 1931-32 Annual Report of the Netherlands Bank, [see Brown, vol, 2, pp. 1 170-1 172] 

Montagu Norman claimed that he had personally not been a participant in the decision to default 
on gold. As we have noted, Norman's cover story was that he had suffered a nervous breakdown, 
and had taken a vacation at the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, Canada. When the Bank of 
England suspended gold payment, Norman was on board ship in the middle of the Atlantic. 
Norman claims that he knew nothing of the decision to go off gold until he landed at Liverpool on 
September 23. Norman was thus able to blame the default on one of his resident whipping-boys, 
Deputy Governor Sir Ernest Harvey. Harvey himself suffered a nervous breakdown because of 
the stress of serving under Norman. 

When the British stopped paying in gold, they were quickly followed by Denmark, Sweden, 
Norway, Holland, Bolivia, and India - most of whom were candidates for inclusion in the sterling 
bloc. Other countries, including Greece, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Hungary were already 
operating under exchange controls and other measures which effectively prevented gold outflow. 
[Hoover, p. 82] 

The British strategy for saving the golden pound had included histrionic international appeals from 
Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, who pleaded with other countries not to drain off the last of 



the British gold. After the British had defaulted, MacDonald's perfidy caused much resentment 

abroad. In the words of an American economist, "Hardly had Ramsay MacDonald stopped 

sobbing over the international radio that Britannia should not be forced to sacrifice her honor, 

than he began to smile broadly because the fall of the pound gave her marked advantage in 

exports." 

[Mitchell, p. 14] 

THE BRITISH GAME 

A British estimate of the London predicament of the early 1930?s reads as follows: 
". . .Great Britain is a highly populated industrial country, carrying a terrific burden of internal 
debt, dependent predominantly for existence on foreign trade, enjoying the benefits of being the 
world's chief banking centre, possessed of a large net income from long-term investments abroad, 
but heavily indebted (in her role as world's banker) to other centres on short- term account." 
[Economist, September 26, 1931, p. 548] 

The British racket up until September 193 1 had been to use a high pound to maximize their 
buying up of the world's productive assets and resources. After September, 1931, a devalued 
pound meant that pound-denominated foreign claims on the British financial system - and these 
were the vast majority - were automatically reduced. 

Five months after the British default, Norman and the British oligarchy embarked on a policy of 
cheap money. At this time a series of Bank Rate reductions was started which soon brought the 
discount to 2.5%, where it stayed for many years. Montagu Norman himself, the former gold 
addict, became the main theoretician of Cheap Money in the new era of competitive monetary 
devaulations. The British stock market quickly recovered amd kept rising during most of the 
1930?s. But unemployment hovered around 2.5 million until the beginning of the Second World 
War. 

"For years, Continental opinion had been coming to the view that the British system was dying of 
ossification," wrote Lionel Robbins [p. 93] "Now the British had increased their own relative 
importance compared to their continental rivals, who had joined them in perdition." 

The post- 1931 British strategy also included Imperial Preference and trade war: "Britain entered 
the lists with the Import Duties Act of March, 1932 (reaching 33 1/3 per cent), and the later 
Ottawa Agreement establishing empire tariff preferences spurred other countries in the process of 
retaliation. Sterling losses of so many countries spread deflation through the struggle for liquidity. 
The contest between economies that remained on gold and those that had left it became acute." 
[Mitchell, p. 14] 

Soon, US exports to the rest of the world had dropped to about one third of their 1929 level. 
[Hoover, p. 83] European purchases of American agricultural products ceased almost entirely. US 
unemployment increased rapidly. Tax revenue fell by 50%. [Hoover, p. 89] 
BRITISH DEFAULT: TEN MORE YEARS OF WORLD DEPRESSION 

The Gibraltar of British Empire finance had crashed. The old saying, "as safe as the Bank of 



England" was now a mockery. "It was only vaguely understood, if at all, that at stake was what is 
called today the 'world monetary system.' It was still a sterling system. The likely alternative 
to. . .the gold standard, at the old sterling parity, may have been the breakdown of that system. 
That is what happened after September, 1931.' [Palyi, p. 86] "The cooperation of the central 
banks in the 1920?s ended in a breakdown of the entire system, having been essentially a cloak 
that masked the ultimate purpose of its chief ingredient, the gold exchange standard, which was to 
maintain Britain's gold standard without obeying the rules of the gold standard." [p. 146] 

During the 18-month period after the British default, most world currencies also terminated gold 
payments through external default. Until March, 1933 the US dollar and some of its satellite 
currencies in central America were able to keep up payments on gold. Otherwise, the gold 
standard was maintained by a group of countries called the "gold bloc," comprehending France, 
Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, and Estonia. Estonia was forced off gold, and Italy 
and Poland imposed gold export controls. The Belgian franc was devalued in March, 1935. 
France imposed a gold embargo in September, 1936. Switzerland and Holland announced 
devaluations immediately thereafter. 

Of the fifty-four nations that had been on the gold standard at some timne between 1925 and 
1931, none remained on gold in 1937. The world monetary system had indeed disintegrated. 
CHART: COUNTRIES LEAVING THE GOLD STANDARD 

April 1929 -April 1933 

1929 

April - Uruguay 

November - Argentina 

December - Brazil 
1930 

March - Australia 

April - New Zealand 

September -Venezuela 
1931 

August - Mexico 

September - United Kingdom, Canada, India, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Egypt, Irish ,Free 
State British Malaya, Palestine 

October - Austria ,Portugal, Finland ,Bolivia, Salvador 

December - Japan 
1932 

January - Colombia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica 
April - Greece, Chile 
May - Peru 
June - Ecuador ,Siam 
July - Yugoslavia 
1933 

January - Union of South Africa 



April - Honduras, United States 
[See Brown, 1075] 



BEYOND BREAKDOWN TO DISINTEGRATION 

The year 1931 is thus a turning point in the financial history of Europe analogous to 1914 in 
political-military history: ". . .because of the profound influence of the war upon the structure of 
the world's credit system and upon the economic environment in which it operated, 1914-19 was 
a period that marked the breakdown, rather than the suspension or modification, of the pre-war 

international gold standard system when England suspended the convertibility of sterling in 

193 1 the international gold standard as a world institution entered into an historical phase which 
must be described by a stronger term than breakdown. SEPTEMBER 1931 MARKED THE 
BEGINNING OF ITS DISINTEGRATION." 
[Brown, p. 1052, emphasis added] 

Current historians and economists are fixated on 1929, but there can be no doubt that September 
1931 was the more important watershed by far. "Britain's devaluation in 1931 had a psychological 
and political impact on Europe, and beyond, that can hardly be overestimated. In final analysis, 
the break-up of the international financial and commercial system was a decisive factor in 
balkanizing Europe and preparing the ground for World War II." [Palyi, p. 270] Another writer 
noted that among the "consequences [of 1931] were an increase of international suspicion and 
hatred, an inflamed nationalism in Europe and, finally, war." 
[Giuseppi, p. 164] 

Indeed. 

CURRENCY BLOCS AND THE IMPULSION TOWARDS A NEW WORLD WAR 

The scuttling of the pound-based, gold exchange international monetary system of the 1920?s was 
perhaps the most potent underlying factor in the universal renewal of armed conflict that soon 
followed. When the pound fell, a series of currency blocs emerged somewhat along the prototype 
of what had emerged under the guidance of Norman and Schacht as the German mark area. These 
currency blocs included the British pound sterling bloc, the US dollar bloc, the gold bloc (which 
broke up, leaving a franc bloc along with some other shards), the Soviet ruble area, the Japanese 
yen zone. The currency chaos meant that there was no reliable means of settling commercial 
payments among these blocs. World trade atrophied. The situation was difficult for everyone, but 
it was worst for those blocs which had the greatest dependency on exports and on importing oil, 
metals, rubber, and strategic raw materials. The pound sterling, dollar, franc and ruble each had 
some raw materials backing. But the German mark, Japanese yen and Italian lira had virtually 
none. Each of these states embarked on an economic regime of autarky so as to conserve foreign 
exchange. For Germany, Italy, and Japan, aggressive territorial expansion towards possible 
sources of oil and metals became the only available surrogate for foreign trade. The ascendancy of 
fascism was favored in each case by the penury of world trade, and in each case the British stood 
ready to promote fascist leaders who would ruthlessly act out this logic, as exemplified by 
Montagu Norman's role as the premier international patron of Hitler and the Nazis, and as the 



point man for the pro- Hitler directives which were carried out by Sir Henry Deterding, Averell 

Harriman, and Prescott Bush. 

BEGGAR-MY-NEIGHBOR 

The British were aware at the time of the colossal magnitude of what they had wrought, and were 
certainly aware of how rival states might suffer far greater consequences than the British 
themselves: "The facts must be faced that the disappearance of the pound from the ranks of the 
world's stable currencies threatens to undermine the exchange stability of nearly every nation on 
earth; that even though London's prestige as an international centre may gradually recover from 
the blow which the sterling bill has received, banking liquidity throughout the world has been 
seriously impaired, much more so in other countries than this; that international trade must be 
temporarily paralysed so long as the future value of many currencies is open to grave uncertainty; 
and that, though the memory of the disastrous effects of post-war inflations should be a useful 
deterrent, there is an obvious risk lest we may have started an international competititon in 
devaluation of currencies motived [sic] by the hope of stimulating exports and leading to a tragic 
reversion to the chaotic conditions which existed five or six years ago." 
["The End of an Epoch," London Economist, September 26, 1931, p. 547] 

The entire edifice of world trade and world banking had imploded: "The sterling bill enters so 
deeply into the whole mechanism of international trade, and so many foreign banks, including 
central banks, have been accustomed to keep a large portion of their reserves in the form of 
sterling balances in London, that the shock caused by the depreciation of sterling to some 80 per 
cent, of its value has necessarily been profound. . . .the depreciation of the pound means that the 
currency reserves of many countries which are kept in the form of sterling balances have been 
seriously impaired, and the pre-existing strain on the banking system of many centres is bound 
temporarily at least to be aggravated by the universal shock which confidence has suffered. . . .By 
our action, the value of the legal backing of a number of currencies has suddenly shrunk." 
[Economist, September 26, 1931, pp. 550-551] 

By October, Perfide Albion was positively gloating about the massive gold outflow from the 
United States, which many now considered on te verge of a dollar crisis: "The suspension also of 
the gold standard in Great Britain had three important results. Firstly, it gave a further shock to 
confidence. Secondly, it prevented foreign banks from drawing upon their sterling balances except 
at a heavy loss, and so drove them back on their dollar balances. Finally, it destroyed all faith in 
the safety and efficacy of the gold exchange standard, for foreign central banks found that the 
sterling exchange which they had legitimately held as part of their legal reserve had lost part of its 
value, thereby undermining their own stability, and inflicting upon them losses in many cases 
commensurate with their own capital." [London Economist, "America's Money Problems," 
October 10, 1931, p. 646] In other words, London's planned default had bankrupted a series of 
central banks who had deposited their reserves in the Bank of England. 

A few weeks later, The Economist commented further: "It was inevitable that the suspension of 
gold payments in England should have a profound effect upon the position of leading central 
banks. Some who were engaged in operating the gold exchange standard were in possession of 
susstantial holdings of sterling as part of their legal reserve against their notes and other sight 



liabilities while others - such as the Banque de France - held equally large quanities of sterling, 
even though they were operating on the full gold standard. All these central banks have had to 
face a 20 per cent, depreciation of their holdings of sterling, which for many of them means a 
substantial proportion of their legal currency reserves. 

"This situation has already had several far-reaching results. Many countries have summarily 
abandoned the gold exchange standard as a snare and a delusion, and their central banks have 
begun hurriedly to convert their devisen into gold. The general tendency has been to leave their 
sterling holdings intact, but to exchange their dollar balances and bills for gold; and this is a major 
cause of the recent efflux of gold from the United States. Again, commercial banks have not been 
immune from the consequences of the crisis, and have had to meet the suspicion and distrust of 
their customers, fostered by very numerous (if not individually very important) bank failures all 
over the world. They have had to face the immobilisation under the 'standstill' agreement of such 
part of their assets as they had ventured in Germany and central Europe; they have suffered, in 
common with the central banks, a 20 per cent, depreciation of their sterling holdings; and, last but 
not least, they have had to deal with the widespread dislocation to trade caused by the 
depreciation of sterling, which is the currency of world commerce. Thus commercial banks have, 
on the one hand, witnessed an outflow of notes into the hands of distrustful customers, and, on 
the other hand, they have had to mobilize their available assets, both at home and abroad, in 
preparation for further demands for currency." 
["The Gold Rush," Economist, October 24, 1931, p. 746] 
BRITISH DEFAULT PRECIPITATES US BANKING PANIC OF 1932-33 

By August of 1 93 1 , Keynes estimated that commodity prices on the world market had fallen since 
1929 by an average of 25%, with some commodities falling as much as 40 to 50%. Common 
stock shares had fallen worldwide by 40% to 50%, he reckoned. Investment-grade bonds were 
down by only 5%, but lower rated bonds were down by 10% to 15%, and the bonds of many 
governments had "suffered prodigious falls." When it came to real estate, the picture was more 
differentiated. Great Britain and France had been able to maintain relative firmness in real estate 
values, with the result that "mortgage business is sound and the multitude of loans granted on the 
security of real estate are unimpaired." The worst crash of real estate prices had occurred in the 
United States, Keynes found. Farm values had suffered a great decline, and newly developed 
urban commercial real estate was depressed to 60% to 70% of its cost of construction, and often 
less. Finally, Keynes estimated that the commercial loan portfolios held by banks were in the 
worst shape of all. Keynes evaluated this 2-year collapse as the worst world-wide deflation in the 
money values of real assets in history. [Essays in Persuasion, pp. 172-175] 

Keynes pointed especially to something far worse yet to come, namely the potential world 
banking crisis that was implicit in the price collapses he had summed up. He concluded that in 
most of the non-British world, if bank assets were conservatively re-evaluated, "quite a significant 
proportion of the banks of the world would be found to be insolvent; and with the further 
progress of Deflation this proportion will grow rapidly." London had the least to worry about, 
since "fortunately our own domestic British Banks are probably at present - for various reasons - 
among the strongest." Once again the Americans would bear the brunt of the crisis: 
. . .in the United States, the position of the banks, though partly concealed from the public eye, 
may be in fact the weakest element in the whole situation. It is obvious that the present trend of 



events cannot go much further without something breaking. If nothing is done, it will be amongst 
the world's banks that the really critical breakages will occur. 

["The Consequences to the Banks of the Collapse of Money Values," (Aug. 1931) in Essays in 
Persuasion, p. 177] 

During October, 1931, the British default had provoked a flurry of bank failures worldwide:the 
Comptoir Lyon-Alemand closed; Handels Bank of Denmark needed to be bailed out by central 
bank, the Bank fuer Handel und Gewerbe, Leipzig, suspended payment, as did the Dresden 
Volksbank, the Franklin Trust Company of Philadelphia and 18 smaller US banks. 

The central banks were so strapped for cash that there was a run on the Bank for International 
Settelements, which had to sell great masses of its own assets assets in order to meet the cash 
demands of its members, the central banks. 
KEYNES: THE CURSE OF MIDAS 

Keynes was very explicit that the most destructive consequences of the British default were going 
to be visited upon the United States, which was still on the gold standard: 

". . .the competitive disadvantage will be concentrated on those few countries which remain on the 
gold standard. On these will fall the curse of Midas. As a result of their unwillingness to exchange 
their exports except for gold their export trade will dry up and disappear until they no longer have 
either a favourable trade balance or foreign deposits to repatriate. This means in the main France 
and the United States. Their loss of export trade will be an inevitable, a predictable, outcome of 
their own action. [...] For the appreciation of French and American money in terms of the money 
of other countries makes it impossible for French and American exporters to sell their goods. [...] 
They have willed the destruction of their own export industries, and only they can take the steps 
necessary to restore them. The appreciation of their currencies must also gravely embarrass their 
banking systems. 

["The End of the Gold Standard, (Sept. 27, 1931) in Essays in Perusasion, pp. 292-293] 

One possible outcome contemplated with eager anticipation by London was that the gold outflow 
experienced by the United States after the British default would lead to the short-term collapse of 
the US dollar. By law, the Federal Reserve in those days had to have sufficient gold to cover 40% 
of the value of all outstanding Federal Reserve dollar notes. At first glance, that 40% of Federal 
Reserve notes might have seemed to set the minimum gold stock necessary for the survival of the 
dollar in its then-current form. But in reality the gold requirements of the US were far greater, 
precisely because of the ongoing economic depression. The London Economist was aware of this 
grave vulnerability of the American currency: 

"The real crux of the Reserve system's position is that, while the ratio of the gold cover to its 
notes need be only 40 per cent., the remaining 60 per cent, of the notes must be covered either by 
gold or by eligible paper, and this last excludes Government securities bought in the open market, 
and in practice consists of rediscounted Treasury bills and also of acceptances and other credit 
instruments based upon trade. Now the depressed state of trade has reduced the Reserve Banks' 
holdings of assets of this last kind and has forced then en defaut de mieux to add enormously to 
their holdings of Government securities. The actual figure for the last-named was $728 millions 
last August, against only $150 million two years before, while during the same period 'eligible 



paper' had fallen from $1,141 to $316 millions. Add to this the actual and potential increase in the 
note circulation, and it is clear that this is the major factor in any calculation of the minimum gold 
requirements of the United States." 
[Economist, October 10, 1931, p. 647] 

THE BRITISH CAST THE CURSE OF MIDAS ON AMERICA 

In the event, the impact of the British gold default of Sept. 21, 1931 on the United States banking 
system was nothing short of catastrophic. Within six weeks, the United States was drained of 
about $700,000,000 worth of gold. "The rush from abroad to convert dollar balances into gold 
frightened American depositors, and they began to withdraw currency from their banks." 
[Kennedy, p. 30] Bank withdrawals were $400,000,000 during these same six weeks [Mitchell, p. 
128]. By November, "almost half a billion dollars had gone into hiding," - meaning hoarding, with 
individuals putting their cash in a safety deposit box, mattress, or old sock. [Kennedy, p. 30] 

As soon as the British had carried out their own default, the attention of the City of London 
turned to the potential for an outflow of American gold: ". . .Wall Street generally has stood up 
well to the shock. It would be premature, however, to jump to the conclusion that the full 
eventual repercussions have yet begun to be experienced in the United States. For one thing, the 
volume of short-term credits held by France, Holland, and other European countries in New York 
is very great, and it is significant that already gold in large sums has begun to be withdrawn on 
foreign account from the Federal Reserve system." 
[Economist, September 26, 1931, p. 550] 

Within just a few weeks, the US gold hemorrhage had become so serious as to threaten the 
gravest consequences: "The present crisis resembles the onslaught of a thunderstorm in a 
mountain range, when the lightning strikes first one peak and then a neighbour. . . Now it is 
apparently the turn of the United States, for in the middle of September a drain of gold began on a 
scale comparable only with the gold losses incurred by Germany and Great Britain in earlier 
months. . . .the total loss is indicated by the contraction of $449 millions in the Federal Reserve 
Banks' gold reserve between September 17th and October 8th." 
[Economist, October 10, 1931, p. 646] 

And: "It is true that in certain respects the American banking position has been arousing 
misgivings. The increase in the note circulation shows that hoarding is definitely taking place, and 
this hoarding is evidence of public distrust in the stability of American banks. The steady stream 
of bank failures corroborates this. Again, it is realised that depressed trade, and the collapse of 
security and real estate values during the past two years, has undermined the value of banking 
collateral and impaired the liquidity of the banks. Still, allowing for these somewhat ominous 
signs, it is probably true to say that the need of foreign banks to strenghten these home resources 
was a more cogent cause of the withdrawals." 
[Economist, October 10, 1931, p. 646] 

The Economist was also busy calculating the point at which financial necrosis would set in: 
". . .the United States could, at last gasp, part with $1,700 millions of gold, though the National 
City Bank very pertinently calls this a theoretical maximum." "A rough calculation, however, 



shows that European central banks together still hold foreign exchange equal to some $1,400 
millions." 

[Economist, October 10, 1931, p. 646] 

In 1928, there had been 491 US bank failures. In 1929, the figure had risen to 642. By 1930, as 
the collapse of the domestic real estate bubble began to take its toll, bank failures had risen to 
1,345. In the wake of the British default, American "bank runs and failures increased 
spectacularly: 522 commercial banks with $471 million in deposits suspended during October 
1931; 1,860 institutions with deposits of $1.45 billion closed between August 1931 and January 1, 
1932. At the same time, holdings by the 19,000 banks still open dropped appreciably through 
hoarding and deterioration of their securities." [Kennedy, p. 30] Thus, the disintegration of the 
London gold standard represented a qualitative turning point in the development of the US 
banking panic. In terms of individual bank failures, 1 93 1 , the year of the British default, was the 
worst year in American banking history. 

The decisive role of the pound sterling crisis in detonating the domestic US banking panic is 
stressed by another chronicler of the Great Depression: "...in all of 1931, a peak number of 2,298 
banks with deposits of $ 1 .692 billion succumbed to insolvency. As we have seen, about three 
quarters of these failures came during or after the British crisis, and the vast majority of the 
damage to the depositors ($1.45 billion out of $ 1.692 billion) was inflicted during and after the 
London default." 
[Mitchell, p. 128] 

The shock waves from the London default were felt first and most severely among the American 
banks of Chicago, Ohio, and other parts of the Midwest, followed by Pennsylvania, New York, 
and then New England. 

The US banking system was now being subjected to the kind of speculative attack foreshadowed 
by the analysis of Lord Keynes. While some of the demands for gold were corning from France, it 
is evident that a very large proportion were coining from London, whether directly or indirectly. 
This was an attack which the Anglophile Hoover, deluded by his personal meeting with Ramsay 
MacDonald, was ideologically incapable of understanding. 

It was in October, 1931 that Hoover broke his long immobilism on the banking question and 
launched the ill-starred National Credit Corporation, his unsuccessful public -private partnership to 
bail out the banks. This timing shows that in Hoover's view as well, the London default had been 
a major milestone on the road to US banking panic. 

On the evening of October 6, 1931 Hoover met with 32 Congressional leaders of both parties at 
the White House. Hoover summarized the world economic situation in the wake of the British 
default: 

"The British. . . are suffering deeply from the shocks of the financial collapse on the Continent. 
Their abandonment of the gold standard and of payment of their external obligations has struck a 
blow at the foundations of the world economy. The procession of countries which followed 
Britain off the gold standard has left the United States and France as the only major countries still 



holding to it without modification. The instability of currencies, the now almost world-wide 
restrictions on exchange, the rationing of imports to protect these currencies and the default of 
bad debts, have cut deeper and deeper into world trade." 

Hoover was forced to concede that the once-prosperous US had been dragged down to the same 
wretched level as the chronically depressed British: 

"We are finding ourselves in much the same position as the British, but in lesser degree. 
Long-term loans which we made to Europe and the mass of kited bills bought from them are 
affecting us sadly with each new default. Like the British, we too are increasingly unable to collect 
moneys due us from abroad. Extensive deposits in our banks owned by foreigners are demand 
liabilities on our gold reserves and are becoming increasingly dangerous. After the British 
abandoned the gold standard, even the dollar came under suspicion. Out of an unreasoning fear, 
gold is being withdrawn from our monetary stocks and bank reserves. These devitalizing drains 
and the threat of them hang like a Damoclean sword over our credit structure. Banks, fearing the 
worst, called in industrial and commercial loans, and beyond all this the dwindling European 
consumption of goods has decreased purchases of our farm products and other commodities and 
demoralized our prices, production, and employment. We are now faced with the problem, not of 
saving Germany or Britain, but of saving ourselves." 
[Hoover, p. 90] 

A day earlier, in a letter to George Harrison at the New York Federal Reserve, Hoover had 
described the problems created by the British crisis for the individual American banker: "There 
have been in some localities foolish alarms over the stability of our credit structure and 
considerable withdrawals of currency. In consequence, bankers in many other parts of the country 
in fear of such unreasoning demands of depositors have deemed it necessary to place their assets 
in such liquid form as to enable them to meet drains and runs. To do this they sell securities and 
restrict credit. The sale of securities demoralizes their price and jeopardizes other banks. The 
restriction on credit has grown greatly in the past few weeks. There are a multitude of complaints 
that farmers cannot secure loans for their livestock feeding or to carry their commodities until the 
markets improve. There are a multitude of complaints of business men that they cannot secure the 
usual credit to carry their operations on a normal basis and must discharge labor. There are 
complaints of manufacturers who use agricultural and other raw materials that they cannot secure 
credits beyond day to day needs with which to to lay in their customary seasonal supplies. The 
effect of this is to thrust back on the back of the farmer the load of carrying the nation's stocks. 
The whole cumulative effect is today to decrease prices of commodities and securities and to 
spread the relations of the debtor and the creditor." 
[Hoover, p. 87] 

On February 7, 1932, Secretary of the Treasury Ogden Mills informed Hoover that the United 
States was about two weeks away from defaulting on gold payment because of the continued flow 
of gold out of this country. To this had to be added the dwindling gold stocks of banks, which 
generally stood ready to convert paper money into gold when depositors asked for it. This gold 
disappeared domestically as it was added to private hoards. 

In principle, the end of the gold standard at this time would have been a blessing in disguise. But 



given the laissez-faire obsessions of the Hoover administration, it is possible that such a move, 
especially if carried out in isolation from a general policy reversal in the form of a recovery 
program, would have engendered chaos. Hoover dodged the main issues by getting the Congress 
to allow the Fed to use more US Treasury securities in place of part of the gold. With this, the 
immediate post -British-default gold shortage was averted. 
HOOVER IN THE DEPRESSION 

Hoover at first attempted to organize the bankers to take care of their own. This attempt was 
called the National Credit Corporation, a private Delaware firm launched in October, 1931. Upon 
joining, member banks suscribed 2% of their assets, in return for which they could obtain loans on 
their sound assets which were not eligible for rediscount at the Federal Reserve branches. But the 
bankers in charge of thius venture were so reluctant to make loans that the National Credit 
Corporation proved to be an exercise in futility. Despite new waves of bank failures in December 
1931 and January 1932, the NCC lent out only one third of its available funds. 

Next, Hoover tried the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a creature of the federal government 
set up by Congress with $3.5 billion of stock and cash in Jaunary, 1931. In June 1932, the banking 
crisis again struck Chicago in the wake of the bankruptcy of the Insull group, with 25 suburban 
banks and 15 downtown institutions closing their doors in the face of panic withdrawals. Only 5 
big banks in the Loop remained. To complicate matters, the Democratic National Convention was 
about to convene in Chicago. The closure of all Chicago banks would have undermined Hoover's 
claim that propsperity was just around the corner. The RFC quickly provided a loan which 
temporarily saved the Central Republic National Bank; this rescue prevented panic runs which 
would have submerged the other four surviving Loop banks. 

The Federal Reserve Board took the attitude that it had no responsibility at all for banks that were 
not members of the Fed system. From 1929 to 1932 the Fed did virtually nothing to stem the 
depression. In 1932 Hoover wanted the Federal Reserve banks to start providing the economy 
with credit in the form of direct lending to businesses, as practised by most European central 
banks. The Federal Reserve Board feared that issuing such loans would open the door to panic 
runs on the Federal Reserve banks. The Fed finally agreed to make direct loans, but the new lar 
carried the proviso that this could be done only in an emergency. In July, 1932, as soon as the 
direct loan facility had been legalized, Hoover asked the Fed to declare a state of emergency so as 
to enable the direct loans. But the Fed refused to declare the state of emergency. Senator Carter 
Glass wanted to prevent Fed credit and loans from being used for speculation, but the New York 
Fed rejected the idea that the Fed could regulate the uses of the credit it issued. A good summary 
of the Fed's immobilism and impotence, verging on outright sabotage was offered by one student 
of the banking crisis: 

"The Federal Reserve stipulated that borrowers must prove they could not receive credit 

elsewhere but also decided that borrowers did not deserve loans which they would not get 

elsewhere." 

[Kennedy, p. 49] 

BANKING PANIC: NEVADA 

In the last days of the 1932 presidential campaign, the first shutdown of the banking system of an 



entire state occurred. This was detonated by the insolvency of the Wingfield group, which 
controlled almost all of the banks in the state. Wingfield was done in by an endless series of 
bankruptcies and forecosures among cattle and sheep ranchers, whose assets usually brought 
about 25 cents on the dollar when put up for auction. On October 31, the lieutenant governor of 
Nevada declared a 12-day bank holiday during which all state banks could remain closed. It was 
hoped that during this lapse of time some solution could be found to permit business to resume. In 
reality, the Nevada banks remained closed for about four months, and re-opened only within the 
framework of Frankiln D. Roosevelt's bank holiday of March, 1933. 

Many schemes were tried to revive the Nevada banks. One plan was based on the depositors' 
takeover of ownership of some banks. Wingfield tried several times to get loans from the 
Reconstruction Finance Corporation, but these never came to fruition. There were attempts to 
mobilize the "private sector" through loans from California investors and Nevada industrialists, 
but these proved equally vain. Nevada as a state was unable to re-open its banks. And as it turned 
out, no state was able permanently to re- open its banks after they had been closed. The Nevada 
banking crisis was a small episode in terms of the dollar values involved, its modest dimension 
only made it loom larger as a public proof of the impotence of all levels of government to act. 

In late 1932, increasing numbers of rural banks came under the intense pressure of panic runs by 
depositors. The RFC was able to stem the tide for a while, and made loans to banks in Wisconsin, 
Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Tennessee. During December, 1932, and during the first six weeks 
of 1933, numerous banks with large aggregate deposits closed their doors in New Jersey, the 
District of Columbia, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and California. Internal documents of 
the Hoover administration made public later show that lame duck Hoover had been concerned 
about fighting off imminent panic in such larger cities as Cleveland, Chattanooga, Little Rock, 
Mobile, St. Louis, and Memphis. 
LOUISIANA 

The beginning of the end came in Louisiana in early February. Here a large insurance company 
had succumbed in January, despite some support from the RFC. The key banking institution in 
trouble was the Hibernia Bank and Trust Company. US Senator from Louisiana Huey Long tried 
to raise cash from other bankers to prevent banks from closing on because of depositor panic 
during the morning of Saturday, February 4, 1933. long hurriedly consulted with Governor Allen 
of Louisiana, his political ally. Sen. Long decided that a bank holiday was in order, and got the 
New Orleans city librarian to search the history books for some momentous event that had 
occurred on February 4. The librarian could find nothing on February 4, but did determine that the 
United States had broken diplomatic relations with Germany on February 3, 1917. Long 
proclaimed that such a momentous event deserved two days of commemoration, and not just one. 
Gov. Allen signed the appropriate order, making February 4 a legal holiday across the state. Many 
people had no idea why the new holiday had been created; one newspaper which did reveal the 
link to the banking crisis was seized by the state militia under Sen. Long's orders. Thanks to this 
surcease, the Hibernia Bank was able to announce $24 million in loans on Sunday morning, 
heading off the panic that might have broken out on Monday. 
MICHIGAN: VALENTINE ' S DAY BANK HOLIDAY 



The final disintegration of the American banking system began with the explosion of a banking 
panic in Detroit, Michigan. The 1920?s had seen the powerful emergence of automobile 
production as the leading sector of the US economy, and the Motor City was widely viewed as 
the most successful, dynamic, and forward-looking metropolis of American capitalism. The shock 
was all the greater when, at 1:32 AM of February 14, 1933, Governor William A. Comstock 
signed an order imposing an 8-day bank holiday for all of Michigan. The epicenter of the Detroit 
crisis was the Guardian banking group, which was personally dominated by celebrated automobile 
tycoon Henry Ford, with some help from his son Edsel. But if Guardian was rotten, its larger 
rival, the Detroit Bankers Company, which at the time was the third largest US bank outside of 
New York City, was putrid. When the Reconstruction Finance Corporation was brought in to 
save Guardian, the RFC board pronounced itself willing to offer loan assistance - but only if 
Henry Ford lent Guardian some millions of his own money, and agreed to keep the Ford Motor 
Company's deposits at Guardian at their current level. Walter P. Chrysler of Chrysler Motors, 
Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. of General Motors, and Hudson Department Stores were ready to lend money 
to Guardian, but Henry Ford started feuding with the RFC and with his estranged business 
partner, millionaire US Senator James Couzens. After days of haggling, Ford agreed to provide 
$8.25 million in new capital for a merged Guardian-Detroit Bankers. Banners appeared on the 
streets of Detroit attempting to build confidence in the proposed merger with the slogan "Bank 
with Hank." 

But this Ford loan was contingent on an RFC loan, and the RFC now refused to make their loan 
because Wall Street banks had refused to renew their oustanding loans to a component of the 
Detroit Bankers group. So this entire scheme fell apart around February 28, 1933. Starting on 
March 1, Senator Couzens tried to get Michigan bankers to propose a plan under which the 
state's banks might re-open. But the bankers were unable to agree on any plan before the state 
legislature in Lansing had adjourned. Therefore the Michigan banks stayed closed through the end 
of Herbert Hoover's term in office. 

Now the hammer-blows of panic fell thick and fast on the reeling US banks. The RFC was forced 
by a meddling and impotent Congress to publish the names of the banks that had received RFC 
loans, most of which were quickly submerged by panic runs once their identities were known to 
the public. 

The Wall Street banks and especially their stock dealings were during this period subjected to an 
investigation by the Senate Banking and Currency Committee, chaired by Senator Peter Norbeck, 
with Sen. Frederick Walcott as ranking Republican. This probe was a political move requested by 
President Hoover to show that the Wall Street crowd, and not the President, was responsible for 
the 1929 crash and was now obstructing necessary reforms. Hoover also thought that, unless 
Congress launched an investigation, bear raids might be launched on the stock exchange by 
pro -Democratic financiers to get Hoover out of office. 

This committee came to be known as the Pecora committee because of the prominent role played 
by Ferdinand Pecora, a former New York City assistant district attorney in Manhattan, who 
became the counsel for the committee. Very damaging to bankers in general was the testimony of 
Charles E. Mitchell, chairman of the board of National City Bank, the ancestor of today's 



Citibank. Mitchell's testimony documented a series of unscrupulous stockjobbing practices carried 
out at the expense of a gullible public. The testimony also suggested that the greedy Mitchell was 
guilty of federal tax evasion, although he was later acquitted in his criminal trial - but convicted in 
a 1938 civil suit and forced to pay about $1.4 million in back taxes and interest. As one observer 
put it, these hearings marked the eclipse of the financier as a folk hero in American life. 
Confidence in the banking system and its managers had received another crushing blow. 

Bankers began flailing in desperation. In New Jersey, Maryland, New York, and the District of 
Columbia, they reduced the interest rates paid on savings account deposits. A number of states 
allowed banks to limit the amount of money that could be withdrawn from accounts. Even 
individual cities declared bank holidays to stave off further panic: this was the case in Huntington, 
Indiana, and Mt. Carmel, Illinois. In other states, some cities began allowing the local banks to 
issue scrip - paper certificates to be used in lieu of money during the crisis, or, more bluntly, 
funny money. Indiana declared a bank holiday on February 23; Maryland followed suit on 
February 25, followed by Arkansas on February 27, and Ohio on February 28. 

The chaos in the hinterland increased the pressure on Chicago, and even more on the pre-eminent 
money center of New York City. Local bankers, strapped for cash, pulled half a billion dollars of 
their deposits out of New York, undermining the liquidity of the largest commercial banks and 
even of the flagship New York Federal Reserve Bank. 

On March 1, Alabama and Louisiana imposed obligatory bank holidays, while Kentucky and West 
Virginia left it up to individual banks to decide whether they would open or not. Idaho 
empowered its governor to declare bank holidays, and Minnesota allowed the commissioner of 
banking of suspend banking for 15 days when he deemed it necessary. March 2 brought a new 
harvest of bank holidays across the west, with Arizona, California, Mississippi, Oklahoma, 
Oregon, and Nevada ordering their banks to close. In Baltimore and the rest of Maryland, the 
bank holiday was being extended day by day. In the District of Columbia and in several states 
savings banks began enforcing the rule that 60 days' advanced notice had to be given by 
depositors if they wanted to withdraw money. 

It was also on March 2 that the Federal Reserve Board in Washington finally advised Hoover to 
declare a federal bank holiday. This advice was long overdue, but the Federal Reserve Board did 
not want to share responsibility for a bank holiday or for other measures that might still be 
considered drastic; they wanted Hoover to take the fall for them. Now their own system was 
breaking apart, and they had to strong-arm the Chicago Fed to make a loan to the hard-pressed 
New York branch. The Fed Board now suggested a bank holiday covering March 3-6, 1933. 
Their assumption was that emergency enabling legislation ratfying the closure would be in place 
before March 7. 

On March 3, 1933 - Hoover's last full day in office - state governors in Georgia, New Mexico, 
Utah, and Wisconsin declared bank holidays. North Carolina, Virginia, and Wyoming limited 
withdrawals. By the end of the day 5.504 banks with deposits of $3.4 billion had shut down. 

Attention was now concentrated on the battered banks of New York and Chicago, which had 



kept serving customers until the close of the business day on Friday, March 3. It was now clear 
that the last currency and gold reserves of these two money centers would inevitably be cleaned 
out during the Saturday morning banking hours of March 4, Inauguration Day. At 1 1:30 PM 
Hoover called Roosevelt and repeated his demand that the President-elect act together with him 
and endorse the actions they might agree to take. Roosevelt repeated his refusal of such an 
approach. Hoover went to bed at midnight. At 1 AM a courier arrived at the White House from 
the Federal Reserve Board with the draft of an executive order for a nation-wide banking holiday, 
and a formal letter urging Hoover to take this step at once. But Hoover slept. 

During the early hours of Saturday, March 4, Governor Herbert Lehman of New York, himself a 
Wall Street investment banker, met with representatives of the banking establishment at his 
Manhattan apartment. Present were the New Yor State superintendent of banks, executives from 
the Morgan group and from the other big clearinghouse banks, and George Harrison, boss of the 
New York Federal Reserve Bank. Harrison had been in touch with Hoover during the day to 
request a nationwide holiday, but Hoover had replied by shifting the responsibility to Gov. 
Lehman. Lehman wanted a formal request for bank closure from the clearinghouse banks, but 
these bankers stalled, hoping to escape responsibility. Lehman refused to act until the big banks 
had signed a petition asking for the bank holiday. With this request in hand, Gov. Lehman at 2:30 
AM signed an order suspending banking in New York State through Monday, March 6. 

The Chicago bankers had undergone large withdrawals on March 3. They were hoping that 
Illinois Governor Horner would act alone to impose a bank holiday. But when news of Lehman's 
action arrived, the Chicago bankers joined in asking Gov. Horner for a bank holiday. Horner 
signed the bank closure order at 3:22 AM local time. Herbert Hoover still had more than seven 
hours left in his term in office, but the financial heart of the United States, the credit system, had 
stopped beating. If Hoover's policies had been continued under his successor, the very fabric of 
civilization would have torn to pieces in this country within a matter of weeks. 

It is instructive today to recall which institutions and economic groups had tried and failed to deal 
with the banking panic of 1932- 33: 

* The private sector failed in a spectacular way to stop the banks from closing and to re-open 
them after they were shut down by individual bankruptcy or by the state bank holidays. Bankers 
were unable to form consortia to help their brethren banks. They were unable to provide credit for 
the recovery of agricultural and industrial production. They were impotent both as ad hoc groups 
of private bankers, and also when they acted undet the aegis of a government-initiated, private 
corporation like the National Credit Corporation. The Michigan crisis proved to be the epiphany 
of the private sector's failure: here men with names like Ford, Chrysler, and Sloan were unable to 
save the banks they themselves controlled and relied on. In short, there was no private sector, 
free-market solution to the disintegration of 1931-33. 

* The Federal Reserve System was first of all one of the principal guilty parties in the 
Coolidge-Hoover speculative bubble, and in the Crash of 1929. Under the leadership of Benjamin 
Strong (himself subjected to the hypnotic powers of Lord Montagu Norman), the Federal Reserve 
System provided the cheap credit which stoked the fiery furnaces of speculation. The Fed did 
nothing to restrain speculation, but only covered its own posteriors somewhat with a mild obiter 



dictum in the spring of 1929 — of which some observers were reminded when Alan Greenspan 
issued his "irrational exuberance" comment of December, 1996. The Fed virtually disowned all 
banks that were not members of its own system, and was unable to do anything to help the larger 
banks that were members. The Fed refused to recommend that Hoover declare a nationwide bank 
holiday until March 2 -very late in the day. The Fed attempted at every turn to duck its 
responsibilities, trying to shunt them off on the flailing Hoover - as in the Fed's 1932 refusal to 
declare a state of emergency to permit Fed loans to nonbank institutions. Under Eugene Meyer, 
the father of Katherine Meyer Graham of today's Washington Post, the Federal Reserve System 
displayed an intertia that was the practical equivalent of sabotage. This abysmal record contrasts 
most vividly with the extravagant claims of pro-Fed lobbyists cited above: that the Fed would 
make panics and bank failures impossible, that depressions no longer need be feared, and so forth. 
Private central banking as exemplified by the Fed was an accomplice in both collapse and 
disintegration. 

* The states were tragic in their impotence to save the banks. State governors were able to 
prevent bank insolvencies by shutting down all banks with a bank holiday. But no state was ever 
able permanently to re-open its banks. 

* Congress acting by itself also failed. A lame duck Congress was in session for many weeks in 
January and February, 1933, and produced no measures capable of keeping the banks open nor of 
re- opening the ones that were shut. The law forcing RFC loan recipients into the public eye for 
panic runs was arson. Senator Borah said that he had never seen a Congress spend so much time 
on trivialities during a crisis. According to Senator Hiram Johnson: "We're milling around here 
utterly unable to accomplish anything of real consequence." [Leuchtenburg, 27-28] This inaction 
generated a widespread public disgust with the legislative branch that was almost as great as the 
popular hatred of Hoover. Fascist ideologues seized on the failure of the Congress to argue for 
dictatorship. 

* Federal agencies were unable to do save the banks and fight the depression by themselves. 
This included the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which had been specifically designed to do 
so. The RFC's piecemeal efforts temporarily staved off the demise of a bank here and there, but in 
the end it proved unable to hold off panic. The RFC's failure in Michigan, refusing to act unless 
Henry Ford made pledges of loans and deposits, was abysmal. 

* The Hoover cabinet was unable to stop the crisis. The overall tone was set by Secretary of 
the Treasury Andrew Mellon, who wanted to liquidate stocks, bonds, and everything in sight. 
Mellon was no better in his capacity as a leading banker. In September 1931 President Hoover 
had turned to Mellon and asked him to contribute $1 million to an effort to bail out the Bank of 
Pittsburgh. Mellon had rejected President Hoover's request. Mellon's successor Ogden Mills and 
especially Undersecretary Arthur Ballantine provided plans for Roosevelt which stopped the 
disinegration but failed to roll back the depression, which went on until 1940. 

* President Herbert Hoover was the most obvious failure of all. This was due to Hoover's 
narrow construction of the powers and responsibilities of the presidency, and his refusal to use the 
implied emergency powers of the office. Hoover first tried voluntary corporatism among bankers. 
When this failed, he mustered the feeble activism of the RFC. After his election defeat, Hoover 
refused to take any action that had not been approved in advance by Roosevelt. Roosevelt neither 
refused nor agreed, but did nothing until he had taken office, when he acted quickly with a 
nationwide bank holiday and other measures. 



In sum, the only institution able to combat the banking panic and the disintegration effectively 
proved to be the activist presidency of Roosevelt. A detailed analysis of Roosevelt's actions lies 
beyond the scope of this paper. But what this present study has revealed is already enough to 
refute as absurd the various theories of states' rights and of Congressional primacy that have 
circulated during the first two years of the Newt Gingrich Speakership. When the new crisis 
comes, it will take an activist president to deal with it. 
STATUS OF US BANKING BY STATE, MARCH 4, 1933 

* ALABAMA - CLOSED INDEFINITELY 

* ARIZONA - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 13 

* ARKANSAS - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 7 

* CALIFORNIA - MOST CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 9 

* COLORADO - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 8 

* CONNECTICUT - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 7 

* DELAWARE - CLOSED INDEFINITELY 

* DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - 3 BANKS LIMIT WITHDRAWALS TO 5%; 9 SAVINGS 
BANKS INVOKE 60 DAYS' NOTICE 

* FLORIDA - WITHDRAWALS RESTRICTED TO 5% PLUS $10 UNTIL MARCH 8 

* GEORGIA - CLOSED ON BANKS' OPTION UNTIL MARCH 7 

* IDAHO - CLOSED ON BANKS' OPTION UNTIL MARCH 18 

* ILLINOIS - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 8, THEN 5% LIMIT FOR 7 DAYS 

* INDIANA - HALF RESTRICTED TO 5% WITHDRAWALS INDEFINITELY 

* IOWA - CLOSED 'TEMPORARILY' 

* KANSAS - 5% WITHDRAWALS INDEFINITELY 

* KENTUCKY - MOST ON 5% WITHDRAWALS UNTIL MARCH 1 1 

* LOUISIANA - MANDATORY CLOSING UNTIL MARCH 7 

* MAINE - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 7 

* MARYLAND - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 6 

* MASSACHUSETTS - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 7 

* MICHIGAN - CLOSED INDEFINITELY 

* MINNESOTA - CLOSED 'TEMPORARILY' 

* MISSISSIPPI - 5% WITHDRAWALS INDEFINITELY 

* MISSOURI - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 7 

* MONTANA - CLOSED INDEFINITELY 

* NEBRASKA - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 8 

* NEVADA - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 8 

* NEW HAMPSHIRE - CLOSED INDEFINITELY 

* NEW JERSEY - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 7 

* NEW MEXICO - MOST CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 8 

* NEW YORK - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 7 

* NORTH CAROLINA - SOME ON 5% WITHDRAWALS 

* NORTH DAKOTA - CLOSED 'TEMPORARILY' 

* OHIO - MOST ON 5% WITHDRAWALS INDEFINITELY 

* OKLAHOMA - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 8 

* OREGON - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 7 



* PENNSYLVANIA - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 7 (EXCEPT FOR PITTSBURGH 
MELLON BANKS) 

* RHODE ISLAND - CLOSED MARCH 4 

* SOUTH CAROLINA - SOME CLOSED, SOME RESTRICTED ON BANKS' OWN 
OPTION 

* TENNESSEE - SOME CLOSED, SOME RESTRICTED UNTIL MARCH 9 

* TEXAS - MOST CLOSED; SOME RESTRICTED TO $10 PER DAY UNTIL MARCH 8 

* UTAH - MOST CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 8 

* VERMONT - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 7 

* VIRGINIA - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 8 

* WASHINGTON - SOME CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 7 

* WEST VIRGINIA - 5% MONTHLY WITHDRAWALS INDEFINITELY 

* WISCONSIN - CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 17 

* WYOMING - 5% WITHDRAWLS INDEFINITELY 

[see Kennedy, pp. 155-156] 
LORD NORMAN 

If Herbert Hoover was hated in the United States, the Mephistophelean Lord Montagu Norman 
was hated all over Europe and all over the world with even better reason. Something of the 
feelings of the normal working bloke of the Clyde or the Midlands comes through in this 
summation by a British academic, made a quarter century ago: "[Norman's] career must surely 
rank as one of the most complete failures in public life in this century. His often-stated aim was to 
make London a successful, leading and powerful financial centre; to keep the pound sterling 
strong and stable; and to maintain the independence of the Bank, if possible in a leading role in an 
association with other similarly constituted central banks." [Sidney Pollard, p. 19] 

But this partakes too much of the superficiality of the man in the street. If we compare Norman's 
achievements to his real goals in economic and financial warfare against the United States, France, 
and the rest of the world, Norman was highly successful. The British Establishment and the 
finance oligarchy of the City of London left no doubt that they were well pleased with Norman. 

Norman was Governor of the Bank of England from 1920 until 1944. His was the longest term 
for a Bank of England boss during the twentieth century. Notice that more than half of Norman's 
tenure at the Bank of England came AFTER the British default of September, 1931. It was in fact 
in 1931 that Norman was rewarded with his reappointment as Governor of the Bank of England 
without time limit. In practice, Norman might have stayed on as Governor for life. After 1939, 
according to various accounts, the British oligarchy considered Norman's services even more 
indispensable in wartime because of his matchless expertise in economic and financial warfare. As 
it turned out, Norman retired from the Bank of England only in 1944 and only on medical advice 
after he had injured himself in a fall. 

But there was no doubt at all of the oligarchy's glowing approval of Norman. His highest honor 
came when he was inducted into the House of Lords as the first Baron of St. Clere in 1944. The 
hereditary peerage for Norman was an accolade bestowed for his service in orchestrating the 



Crash of 1929 and the 1931 Disintegration of the world financial system. Montagu Norman lived 
to see the dawn of the Bretton Woods era. Norman's stepson is Peregrine Worthshorne, the 
stridently fascist and anti-American columnist of Conrad Black's Hollinger Corporation paper, the 
London Sunday Telegraph. After Lord Norman's death, his marble bust was unveiled in one of 
the courtyards of the fortress on Threadneedle Street. So Norman's genocidal plotting was never 
disowned, only glorified, by those who counted most in Perfide Albion. 
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Andrew Boyle, Montagu Norman (London: Cassell, 1967) 

Costantino Bresciani-Turroni, The Economics of Inflation (London, 1937) 

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York: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1940) 

Alec Cairncross and Barry Eichengreen, Sterling in Decline (Oxford: Blackwell, 1983). 

Lester V. Chandler, Benjamin Strong, Central Banker (Washington DC: Brookings Institution, 
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Stephen V.O. Clarke, Central Bank Cooperation, 1942-1931 (New York: Federal Reserve Bank 
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Giuseppi, Bank of England 

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Kentucky, 1973) 

John Maynard Keynes, Essays in Persuasion (New York: Norton, 1963) 



Diane B. Kunz, The Battle for Britain's Gold Standard in 1931 (Bechenham, UK: Croom Helm, 
1987). 

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1970). 

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END